Photos, story by Cassie Hepler
It seems the Piazza at Schmidt’s in No Libs is undergoing some sort of resurgence. With that massive FREE dirt parking lot, it makes it that more accessible for hipsters and visitors alike. Where King’s Oak and a medley of other restaurants attempted a go at success, now stands Urban Village Brewery. But don’t worry all you foodies, winos and cocktail lovers, they’ve got you covered too. Boy do they ever! And if you need a clog-your-arteries burger, Wahlburgers is across the street or if you need tacos or the Chronic pulled pork/mac-n-cheese sandwich is on the other side at El Camino Real.
A self proclaimed “neighborhood brick oven pizza and brewpub” was birthed (painfully) by owners Dave Goldman and Tom Revelli. These guys are taking is back to old school, literally. Repurposed wood everywhere, brick ovens, friendly and attentive staff, they are gonna kill it and we were happy to be the first crew to try it out.
Head brewer is Dave Goldman, once an avid home brewer and graduate of the University of the Sciences Brewing certificate program, is now able to sling his beer in full abandon inside the facility with help of assistant brewer Joey Tolan. General manager and pizza guy Tom Revelli has been perfecting his fermentation and dough techniques for as long as he can remember. This dude knows his carbs.
For summer, sample a one-of-a-kind Berliner Weiss, Beets by J, made with over 300 pounds of beets, and a sharp, refreshing and delicious witbier called Wildey Wheat which is our summertime favorite with it’s crisp, clean taste. Signature, year-round beer options include a Rye IPA that’s the liquid equivalent of rye bread in a glass and a Citra Pale Ale, or C.P.A. The best part? You can taste whatever you want. No one is going to nickel and dime you here. All the beer is made on site and prices will range from $2 to $6 and come in 4 oz., 8 oz., 12 oz. and 16 oz. pours. Branded 32 oz. crowlers will also be sold for $12 or $14 depending on the style.
Artisanal pizza will be poppin’ here with the usual go-to pepperoni to crafted slices of all kinds. A variety of toppings in “red” or “white” and sold for $9-$15. Offerings range from house made pepperoni, fresh ricotta and basil pesto (the Penelope); slow roasted octopus, house cured pancetta, tomato and romesco sauce (the Olivia); to vegan options featuring fennel pollen, olives, artichokes, roasted garlic and almond crème (the Fiona).
Executive Chef Christopher Davis helms the kitchen and will create a variety of hyper-seasonal and therefore often rotating small plates (vegan beer battered pickles $7 or Jersey bluefish fritters $8); salads (shaved asparagus or Caesars for $10); sandwiches (pork belly $10); and mussels (spicy red or witbier white $12). Things you never usually see on a brewery menu: salads, asparagus and beets.
Designed by Lighthouse Architecture, the 5,500 square foot restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating capacity of 155 and offers a sophisticated yet casual and comfortable vibe featuring large communal tables, banquets and contemporary lighting. An enormous wrap-around bar takes center stage while reclaimed wood lines the walls, adding a rustic contrast to the sleek interiors. The brewpub boasts a cozy al fresco lounge complete with fire pits. Additionally, brewpub diners can witness their craft beer or pizzas being created right before their eyes through a dramatic display of a 7-barrel pristine tank and production system, brewing up to 12 unique and seasonal styles of delicious craft beer offered through it’s rotating tap system. As for pizzas, the team made certain that not only is the dough extremely unique, so is the prep and process and wanted a way to showcase that in the form of a line of impressive looking brick ovens lining the back wall of the open kitchen area.
This one-off concept offers tank-to-table craft beers brewed on site with a 7 barrel brewing system and brick-oven fired pizzas and artisan bread specialties prepared with natural, yeast leavened dough and includes vegan and gluten free options. Check it out and be blown away like we were!