World of Beer coming to downtown Chattanooga

World of Beer coming to downtown Chattanooga

April 22nd, 2014 by Alex Green in Business Around the Region

World of Beer is under construction at 412 Market St. The restaurant/bar will offer 50 to 60 tapped beers and have an occupancy of 283 patrons.

Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press.

Chattanooga now joins the likes of Albany, N.Y., Orlanda, Fla., Stamford, Conn. and Wavwatosa, Wisc. among others that are currently "Coming Soon Locations" for the national beer seller.

"We're super excited about it," said Kevin Strech, general manager of the new Chattanooga store and former manager of Taco Mac.

He said Chattanooga's love of craft brews and live music impacted World of Beer's decision to bring a store here. In beer circles, Strech said the Scenic City is even being referred to lately as "little Asheville," the North Carolina city noted for the number of beer brewers that call it home.

And although Strech has the local tie and was formerly managing a store just across the street from his new gig, he said World of Beer already had its sights on Chattanooga, company owners having previously checked it out themselves.

"The owners of World of Beer visited Chattanooga and decided that it was the new home for [this] location," he said.

Certainly the drinks are something to be excited about for beer lovers. But Strech said Chattanooga's World of Beer will also offer palatable food options, including burgers, shrimp, salmon and wings.

And obviously the "world-famous pretzel."

But that's still a few months away - probably July.

Right now, the inside of the World of Beer-to-be is undergoing changes to accommodate the shift from Mexican restaurant to watering hole.

Stacey Stine, operations manager at Henson Construction out of Louisville, Ky., said demo work has just begun at the shop.

"We're doing a little bit of work on it," he said. "It's not very far along at all."

In the mean time, Strech said the Chattanooga store's management team will begin the hiring process. The staff will be made up entirely of local talent and should include about 60 or more employees.

World of Beer, which was created by two friends in Tampa, Fla., in 2007, already operates 55 stores and its building another eight locations.

Contact staff writer Alex Green at agreen@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480.