The Pioneer Tap House on Baker Street gave a preview of what it will offer Brownwood with a lively, invitation-only soft opening Saturday night that drew a large, sociable crowd.
The tap house, owned by the husband-and-wife team of Micah and Ashley Jaynes, will have a public opening at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Hours of operation will be 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays.
Brent and Kim Bruton own the building at 112 E. Baker, and Micah and Ashley Jaynes are leasing a portion of the building to run their business. The building was under renovation for several weeks as preparations were made to open the tap house.
During the soft opening Saturday, several employees worked behind the bar as guests entered the business, exchanging handshakes and hugs and engaging in a steady stream of conversation. Some sat at the bar or at wooden tables, and others stood in groups on the wooden floor.
And of course, they enjoyed beverages.
Micah and Ashley Jaynes alternated between working behind the bar and talking with guests.
“Excited. Overwhelmed,” Micah Jaynes said when asked for this thoughts. “This is exactly what we wanted. A place where everybody can know your name. Not everybody knows everybody, but everybody’s known.”
Jaynes said the business will have 18 taps of craft Texas beers and local wine.
“This is a ‘come hang out.’ This is going to be a very nice place. We just want people to come hang out and have fun,” Jaynes said.
“Don’t come down here and get trashed. Come hear someone else’s story and let it inspire your life.”
Jaynes said he “100 percent” a visionary. “I have a huge vision for this community and I know everyone else does too,” Jaynes said.
A few blocks away, at the corner of Baker and Fisk, Jeff tucker continues preparing the brewery he’s calling Teddy’s Brewhaus for opening. Tucker earlier had hoped for a July opening but has revised that to August.
Other businesses are located along Baker Street, which is getting a different look between Fisk and Center thanks to a sidewalk improvement project. The project, which includes the installation of historic lampposts, is in its final stages.
Jaynes said he thinks the sidewalk improvements will help the businesses, and he said business owners are discussing ways of promoting events.
“It’ll be alive. It’ll be like walking downtown Fort Worth or Dallas. It’ll be alive — completely alive. It’s going to feel like a vacation. You want to go on a vacation this weekend? You don’t have to go far. Go downtown.
“Expect live music downtown. Expect trivia nights. Get ready for a downtown Fort Worth kind of feel.”