Brewery builds out gastropub
The state’s largest and oldest microbrewery is revamping its dining space and menu.
Bell’s Brewery’s said this week that it has begun construction on its Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo to create a full-service kitchen, expand its bar and add 130 seats to the space.
The new “gastropub-style space” will occupy more than 6,600 square feet of what used to be warehouse space and the company’s original brewery.
The project will feature a gas fireplace, more parking and an employee area for more than 120 employees.
The new menu will be a collaboration between the kitchen's management team and Bell’s president and founder Larry Bell.
Still in development, the menu will feature fish and chips, fresh-ground burgers, salads, smoked meats, mussels and eggs.
"We will try to source our ingredients locally whenever we can, but our focus will also be non-GMO and organic foods,” said Jason Reicherts, director of retail, Bell’s Brewery. “Quality is the top priority, no matter where it comes from.
"Our goal is to match and even enhance the high-quality beer that is already being served with high-quality food and service. We will be focusing on both the front and back-house experience and with our Inspired Hospitality program, service will be a huge focus.
“Our staff training program will feature an ever evolving and ongoing course of modules, covering everything from the latest news in the craft beer industry to food and beer pairings."
Kalamazoo architect Nelson Nave, structural engineer Nehil-Sivak and construction firm Maxwell & Associates are working with Bell’s on the project.
Because of construction, tours of the original brewery will not be offered. Tours at the company’s Comstock location will be expanded.
"There may be some minor inconveniences in the interim, but the end result will be more than worth it,” Reicherts said. “We hope our customers will be patient with us as we work to bring them an even better experience here at the Eccentric Café.”
Prior to the brewery's occupation of the building, it was a full-service gas station.