On Tuesday, April 15, they just opened their doors. They didn’t Tweet, post a message to Facebook, or call the local news station. They took a hands-off, no fuss approach, opened their doors, and waited. And the people came. For all of you sports movie fans out there, the first thing that popped into my head when the bartender shared this with me was the voice that Kevin Costner hears in the baseball flick, Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.”
Build it they did. Arcadia Brewing Company embarked last year on a new building in Kalamazoo to expand their presence in the Southwest Michigan area. Originally starting in Battle Creek in 1996, Arcadia Ales has taken off with award winning beers, such as their popular pale wheat ale, Whitsun, and their India Pale Ale, appropriately named Arcadia IPA, amongst other classic, specialty and seasonal beers. They began expansion to Kalamazoo in early 2013, and opened their doors just over a year after they broke ground.
It’s an interesting concept, when you think about it. Aside from their ‘Friends and Family’ night the day prior, there was no announcement of the Kalamazoo location’s opening. Yet, somehow, people found out about it. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and the people of Kalamazoo proved that our community is a tight-knit one. When I made my way over to check things that weekend (I know, how could I not be there opening day!), I was delighted to see that all expectations I had from the gorgeous red brick exterior were met with a beautifully designed bar area inside. It’s rustic, yet modern, with giant chalkboards to communicate the delicious beverages on tap. The openness of the space is also quite incredible, and feels bigger than it is with all of the natural light that comes pouring in through the large windows.
As it continues to get warmer in the ‘Zoo (knock on wood), Arcadia can only get more appealing. While not yet completed, dream about an outdoor patio to enjoy a brew with friends after work, and a stage for live music. What also makes this location unique, is quite literally its location. The building sits right off of the Kalamazoo River, and there are plans to have spots to dock your canoes and kayaks, then come on up for some drinks and food. Speaking of food, as Arcadia waits for final kitchen and food approvals, they are happily serving yummy grub from their food truck, Twisted Tail BBQ, which was conveniently parked in the parking lot for patrons to grab and nosh on while inside.
As the word continues to spread, things can only look up for Arcadia in Kalamazoo. The building has been built, the beer has been brewed; now all we have left to do is to properly welcome it into our community. From one friend to another, stop on by and check it out – you’ll be glad you did.