Paso Robles beer drinkers will soon have a new place to enjoy local craft brews.
The city's Planning Commission recently approved plans for a beer garden, to be located on the Railroad Street property next to Chubby Chandler's Pizza.
Russell Baker purchased the 13,000-square-foot property for about $440,000 in June after learning the restaurant doesn't own the site.
Baker, a sales manager for a software company, grew up in the area and recently moved back with his family. He said he's always wanted to open his own business and saw a chance to create an establishment that would appeal to both locals and tourists.
"I just thought, 'This is a great opportunity to have a space that could showcase the local craft beer scene,'" Baker said.
The beer garden, to be called The Backyard, will be located on the southeast corner of the property at Railroad and 13th streets. Chubby Chandler's Pizza will continue serving up slices on the other side of the property, although the restaurant will undergo renovations.
"I wanted to have something a little closer to downtown that could really draw on the foot traffic," Baker said.
He declined to provide financial information about the cost of the restaurant renovations and the beer garden construction.
One side of the garden will feature a renovated metal storage container with the beer taps and a refrigeration unit, Baker said. Restrooms will be in another storage container, with seating areas in between.
Picnic tables and shaded seating will allow for beer-drinking in any kind of weather. Adults will be able to play a game of bocce ball or corn hole, and a fenced-off play area will make the space more family-friendly.
Baker said customers will be able to enjoy one of 24 beers on tap, with half to act as a "local showcase" and the other half to feature a a rotating selection of craft brews.
A food truck will park nearby on certain nights for hungry customers. Those looking to bring their own food can also buy pizza from Chubby Chandler's or pick up food from other restaurants.
Baker said crews will likely break ground on the beer garden by early to mid-June. He hopes to have the establishment up and running by late September.