VIRGINIA BEACH — A few hiccups and a few delays can be expected in any big project, but the guys behind Young Veterans Brewing Company and their Oceanfront project, The Bunker, expect it to be ready to go in just a matter of days.
“It hasn’t been the smoothest process in the world, but the best things in life are like that,” said Neil McCanon, one of the YVBC owners. “We started in a garage, so for all of us this is a huge step.”
The Bunker is located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Pacific Avenue and 21st Street.
Tom Wilder, another of the owners, said he expects to have all of the necessary licenses and an occupancy permit within two weeks.
“A lot of the aesthetics of the original location will leak over to this one, but there will be some new looks and different colors,” Wilder said.
The military-themed brewery is known for its preference for olive drab green and military nomenclature.
The Bunker is divided into two sections: In the front is the brewpub, a 25-table restaurant and full bar that will feature “Southern Coastal” food choices with eight appetizers, four varieties of tacos, four handhelds, and six different entrees.
“While it’s not an extensive menu, everything will have a unique twist to it,” said Chris Holyfield, the other YVBC owner, who brings years of restaurant experience to the project.
In the back is the Cadence Hall – which for non-military basically means a music venue.
With a big stage, lots of floor space (and a full bar), Wilder said they plan to bring in both local and, eventually, national acts, as well as offering an open mic night.
This project was something Wilder had wanted to do since the Jewish Mother location in the Oceanfront closed a number of years ago.
I think people miss it, so I wanted to bring back something with a similar atmosphere… something people can feel connected to,” he said.
The Bunker also has six garage doors that can be opened or closed, depending on the weather.
Not forgetting their brewery roots, Wilder said there will be 30 taps total in the facility (20 in the front and 10 in the back), with 20 different beers. Most will be YVBC offerings, but they’ll also have a few “guest taps” that will dispense beer from area breweries such as Coelacanth, Rip Rap, Big Ugly, and Bold Mariner. They’ll have a hard cider option as well.
Onsite beer will be brewed (mainly collaborations and one-offs) using the same equipment they started making beer with five years ago.
The Bunker will also sell wine and liquor, with a whiskey and bourbon selection that will grow over time.
Large screen televisions will show sports and other offerings.
They’re currently hiring staff and expect to employ about 50 people.
But for now, loose-ends are being tied up and the mess being cleaned up.
“It might look like chaos, but it’s really a day of cleaning,” Holyfield said.