Chef Chad White is teaming up with Travis Thosath of TTs Old Iron Brewery to open a beer and barbecue joint.
Construction is already underway on the forthcoming TTs Old Iron Brewery and Barbecue at the corner of South Bowdish and South Dishman Mica roads in Spokane Valley. It’s slated to open in spring 2019.
White is planning to offer Kansas City-style barbecue, done – he said – “from start to finish in the smoker.”
Kansas City-style barbecue features spice-rubbed, slow-cooked, wood-smoked meats served with a signature, sweet and spicy, thick, tomato-based barbecue sauce.
White plans to make his from scratch using beer from TTs Old Iron Brewery. He’s still finalizing the rest of the menu.
White was a contestant on season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” He moved back to Spokane in late 2015 after 14 years out of the area, mostly in San Diego. He’s a partner in the Spokane-based spice company Spiceology. He’s also a partner in restaurants in San Diego and Tijuana as well as owner of Zona Blanca, a ceviche restaurant in downtown Spokane.
The building that houses Zona Blanca is also home to the Steel Barrel Taproom, an incubator brewing space and taproom that also serves cocktails. That’s where White met Thosath.
“My thing is I know the beer side, but I don’t know jack diddly squat about running a restaurant,” Thosath said. “So I asked him if he’d be at least willing to help me. And he said he’s be interested in doing it with me.”
Thosath said he “kinda threw the concept at him maybe six months ago.”
He signed the lease in early September. That’s also when he quit his day job.
“I got the keys to the building and turned around and said goodbye and here we go. It still feels like vacation,” he said. “It hasn’t been long enough to sink in.”
The pair were interested in locating their brewery and barbecue restaurant in Spokane Valley “because there’s just not a lot out here at the moment, and there’s a lot of population that’s just kind of untouched,” Thosath said.
His father, Steve Thosath of Thosath Building Contractors, is the contractor on the project. “And one of my best friends works for him,” Thosath said. “I’m pretty much building my brewery with my close friend.”
Plans call for the space to feature two large, glass, garage-style, roll-top doors as well as a bar area that seats about 12 to 15 people and a main dining room with big community tables as well as some smaller tables.
“We want everyone to be happy and comfortable” in the space, Thosath said. “I’m kinda shooting for a Perry Street (Brewing) model. I want that neighborhood vibe. That’s my goal: to be a neighborhood hub for the area that I’m in. Everybody that I’ve talked to is excited about it.”
Decor will be “kind of industrial” and “kind of old metal.” And, Thosath said, “it will have some modern touches.”
The theme of his brewery is old cars. The name comes from Thosath’s initials as well as his nickname for his vintage rides. “Old iron is what I call my old cars. I have some old Model Ts,” he said. “All my beers are named after car parts.”
He’s known for his Stovebolt Smoked Rye Stout, Magneto IPA and Big Headlights Blond Ale.
The new space will allow him to expand his offerings and capacity. “I’m going to have like four fermentors. It’s going to be really neat.”
Meantime, he’ll keep brewing at Steel Barrel.
“My lease ends in June of 2019,” he said. “That was my plan: to find a location and start building it so by the time the new pace is open I’ll have a seamless transition.”
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