Next time you’re by you may notice a new (less attractive) sign outside of Steel & Oak.
While our wonderful Tasting Room staff are prepped to answer any questions you may have I still feel like it’s important for me to share with you what the deal is. Really because it has been such a lengthy process and I’m sure a cause for some frustration amongst the members of our community.
If you’ve been by Steel & Oak this past year you likely had to wait to get in. I’m sure this was frustrating and I’m sure some of you said “forget this” and walked the other way.
Now if S&O was located in Vancouver I’m sure a wait would be expected. But this is New West. Wait to get into a place!? C’mon!
Even though I’m (partially) kidding trust me when I say I do feel your pain. It’s a bit of a hike to get to Steel & Oak only to be told you need to wait longer. And that sucks.
This isn’t because we don’t want more people in the room. I’ll be entirely honest, I have a family to support so I want as many of you in the place as possible! It was (is) because we had (and still have) occupancy issues.
When Jamie and I opened Steel & Oak in 2014 some of the new laws we all enjoy today in regards to drinking in a Brewery Lounge didn’t exist. We had what was called a “Tasting Room” and that was what it was meant for… tasting. Occupancy didn’t matter too much at that point but as the laws changed we were excited to learn that we would be able to serve you a couple beers if we wanted to and even some cider as well. Operate more like a proper craft beer establishment! So while this was great news, S&O wasn’t equipped with the infrastructure to support an increase in occupancy. We were capped at 20 people (plus growler lineup) and that’s where we’ve been ever since.
It hasn’t been lost on us that this has been shitty for you (and us) and behind the scenes we’ve been making the changes and talking to the correct people in order to rectify this speed bump in an overall rad road of beer and fun goodness. Although a lengthy process I’m happy to say that we now have everything in place to take the first step in increasing our occupancy to 50 people.
Now don’t get super pumped that you’ll be able to bring your group of 30 to the Brewery next Friday. Because you won’t. This process is still going to take some time. It still needs some government approvals and there are still some hurdles to overcome. But I wouldn’t write this post if I wasn’t confident that there will be some good news in the coming months.
Hopefully soon you won’t have to watch all your friends have a good time while you stand outside because you’re person number 21.
Thanks for all the support and patience this past year.