Formerly known as the Tap House Grill and Pub, on Regent Street in Sudbury is now Optimist Brewery and Kitchen. With ownership staying the same, the group thought the best way to grow was to convert the grill and pub to a brewery.
“We wanted to bring something to the market that was different, something a little bit outside the box that would catch people by surprise,” said owner John Arnold.
“But we do have a much larger vision admission in promoting a positive feel, a positive vibe. An optimistic approach to life, and an optimistic approach to our beer.”
When restaurants were forced to close their doors March 17, Arnold and Tap House staff closed their doors, too, and began turning it into a brewery.
Having held a grand opening on the weekend, and only being open a few days, Arnold said he’s encouraged with how it’s being received.
But making the transition from the old place to a new facility, which includes craft brewing and doing it all in a global pandemic, had its challenges.
“Thinking about how the community is going to be receiving a new upstart restaurant, knowing what the restrictions are that the province has set forward, we were a little nervous about that,” he added.
“But so far it’s been very well received.”
No brewery can be successful without a head brewer. Optimist owners knew they needed to hire someone who knows their stuff.
When former Stack Brewing brewer Michael Guillemette’s name was brought forward, they knew he was the one to add to the team.
“We started naming beers, almost like they have their own little attitudes. And these are things we may or may not admire in people. I believe in growth of optimism, for me I’m not the most optimistic person on the planet but doing this project is teaching me to be more optimistic.”
In addition to just the brewery, Optimist has also opened the ‘O + Market,’ in a closed off area at the back of the restaurant.
With the possibility of the province closing restaurants and bars again due to COVID-19, the ‘O + Market’ will serve as a takeout window.