Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
MCKINLEYVILLE – McKinleyville’s ability to slake your thirst is about to increase by the power of 27. That’s how many taps will be flowing with local beer, wine and cider when the Bigfoot Taproom opens in July.
The new beverage mecca is being purpose-built from the ground up. It will include a tap room intended, according to the business’’s mission statement, as “a neighborhood meeting place, one that is loved by the community and enjoyed by all. A playful gathering spot for socializing with friends and family, enjoying music, creating memories and admiring the beauty of Humboldt County.”
The Bigfoot Taproom will be located what is now a vacant lot at 1750 Central Ave. in McKinleyville, just north of CVS Pharmacy and south of Miller Farms Nursery, with easy access to local trails, recreational facilities and major highways.
Partners Neil Cheatum, Lisa Jennings and Ray Noggle located the prime site among the limited options available in well-developed McKinleyville.
A spot at the McKinleyville Shopping Center came with too many restrictions, so the partners went all in on a ground-up project.
The taproom will be for customers 21 and over, but will host a capacious beer garden that is dog friendly.
Food won’t immediately be part of the offerings, though the owners are working on that. What will be available is a dazzling array of locally produced beverages.
“We really want to give everyone in the area a tap,” Jennings said.
“Our aim is to provide quality beverages. A place where every customer leaves impressed and happy,” states the taproom’s mission statement. “We will strive to use locally sourced products whenever possible to minimize our carbon footprint and strengthen the local economy. We will operate an ethical and environmentally friendly establishment, one that supports our community and creating meaningful relationships with those around us.”
The business will employ two to three workers at first, and expand as needed.
The endeavor is mostly self-financed, with help from family and friends but also Reprop Financial and the Arcata Economic Development Commission.
“It cost a lot more than we thought it would,” Jennings said. “We’re putting out hearts and souls into it.”
The groundbreaking ceremony for The Bigfoot Taproom takes place Monday, May 13 beginning at noon at the Central Avenue site. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be served.