Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Precarious Beer Hall gets the green light for summer 2019 opening

Artists rendition of how the new beer hall may look from the outside. (WYDaily/ Courtesy Precarious Beer Project)
Artists rendition of how the new beer hall may look from the outside. (WYDaily/ Courtesy Precarious Beer Project)

Downtown Williamsburg is getting a beer hall stocked with tacos and retro video games.

City Council voted Thursday to approve a request from the Precarious Beer Project to open a beer hall in the Henry Street Shops.

Precarious Beer Hall is expected to open by June 2019, owner Andrew Voss said.

The Precarious Beer Project is the brewery that operates inside Amber Ox Public House, and a dozen or so of their beers will be available on tap at the newly-approved beer hall.

Guests can also try a selection of tacos served from a walk-up street-style taco stand in the center of the hall.

Ten or so vintage arcade games, like Pac-Man and Galaga, will be available for 25 cents per game.

“I applaud Precarious Beer, LLC for looking at trends and the ways that entertainment and food and beverage have changed, and to take a chance to bring that to Williamsburg,” City Councilwoman Barbara Ramsey said at the meeting.

Council granted a text change to allow for an “amusement arcade” in the Downtown Business District, as well as a Special Use Permit for the operation of the microbrewery and amusement arcade.

Council asked about the noise the venue would generate, both from the planned live music and by the arcade games. Voss said live music will only be played indoor and the games will be muted.

The games are for “guest retention,” he said, with the hopes that customers will stick around for longer than it takes to eat their food.

“The ‘arcade, amusement’ verbiage is very deceiving for a project of this nature,” Voss said. “We are not interested in running what you would consider a true arcade scenario, like what you might see on some boardwalk on the Jersey shore or Virginia Beach. This is merely an element of entertainment within our space.”

He said he views the beer hall as an extension of their brewing operations within the Amber Ox Public House, and will allow the team to begin packaging and barrel-age their beers.

The request was approved 4-0 by City Council. Mayor Paul Freiling abstained from voting, citing his employment with the property’s landlord, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

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