Three times was not a charm after all. But Riverside resident Carl Choate hasn’t run out of axioms to employ. He’s now working on “if at first you don’t succeed …”
On April 30, Choate closed the Riverside Tap Room, which he’d operated at 34 East Ave. since the fall of 2012.
“We had developed a really diverse crowd, but it came down to we need to wrap up here and shoot for a bigger space,” said Choate.
It was actually Choate’s third venture at that address. From 2005 to 2007, he ran the Parallel 42 wine bar. Four years later in 2011, he revived the wine bar concept before switching to a craft beer model the next year.
But a tough winter — the kitchen was closed during the month of February due to a leaky roof — and the microscopic space led Choate to finally pull the plug. He says he’s settled any lease issues with the landlord and is in the process of recruiting partners for a brew pub venture that he’d like to open in Riverside.
“Hopefully I can get a good team of people together,” said Choate, noting that he is scouting locations, including some in downtown Riverside. “I have a good idea of what Riverside can do. We just need to grow the pond to bring more people into the town.”
While Choate finds the right partners for the new venture, he’ll keep himself busy with his concrete construction business, as a member of the Riverside Police Auxiliary, and with a group of local craft beer enthusiasts who call themselves the Riverside Beer Geeks.
Choate started the group along with Riverside Foods co-owner Peter Boutsikakis, who has been bringing more and more craft beers to the grocery store’s inventory recently. Choate said he’d like to grow the Beer Geek group during the summer, begin to brew his own beer and have the group host some sort of Oktoberfest event to highlight craft brews.
“I definitely have a lot on my plate,” said Choate.
As for settling on a brew pub as his new venture, Choate said his experience with Riverside Tap Room convinced him that was the model to pursue.
“It was sad to close up that location,” said Choate, “but I think I really hit the right formula. I want to bring it to Riverside and put it on the map.”