By Jordan Houston | January 4, 2022
Local businessman Julian Wright has built a reputation as a powerhouse entrepreneur within the community.
Wright, who owns the award-winning Tempe-based Pedal Haus Brewery, recently opened a third location in the MonOrchid building in Downtown Phoenix, expanding the bar and restaurant’s burgeoning footprint into the heart of the Roosevelt Row Arts District.
Pedal Haus Phoenix, located at 214 E. Roosevelt Street, delivers a similar vibe to its Tempe blueprint, according to Wright, while offering a fresh aesthetic and experience tailored to its new neighborhood. The other pub is in Chandler.
The 6,000-square-foot brewery occupies the back half of the historic building. Pedal Haus Phoenix boasts its award-winning beers as well as its signature bar food.
“Anyone who has been to the Tempe (location) will kind of recognize the decor and aesthetic,” Wright says.
“I don’t want all of them to look the same, so I designed around the cool building to work with the lights and existing wood columns and wood roof.”
The interior highlights existing raw concrete columns, an arched wooden ceiling, a stage for live music, areas for private events and beer taps at the host stand. A mix of low- and high-top tables and tufted booths designed to entertain 300 guests pepper the space.
In January, the brewery is slated to open another 3,500 square feet of patio space on the east side of the property, featuring an open-air bar and mezzanine deck complete with “grass, trees, park benches and garden lights,” Wright adds.
“Every time I open a new spot, I try to elevate it and do some new stuff,” the owner says.
“The building is pretty unique. It’s a historic building. It’s really cool and has curved wood roofs. It just kind of had that brewery feel. I think Roosevelt Row is a really cool area. It’s also expanding and growing and kind of fits our vibe.”
The menu is being finalized, Wright says. Eventually, it will include Pedal Haus staples such as burgers, pizza and salads, as well as fan-favorites like haus smoked wings, oversized pretzels and a German-style charcuterie board.
Wright’s team is fleshing out its vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menus, which are popular at the Tempe location, he says. Pedal Haus beers brewed in Tempe are also delivered fresh daily.
Although Pedal Haus Phoenix opened its doors in mid-November, Wright says it has been surprisingly busy so far.
“I think, considering we’re down an alley and don’t have much curb appeal, we’ve actually been busier than expected considering the patio is not done yet,” Wright says. “It has been two years in the making. We’ve got a great, awesome team.
“It’s really hard work but it’s also really satisfying when the business or restaurant you open is enjoyed by the public,” the owner adds. “I’ve been in this business for 21 years and one of the most satisfying things is meeting new people, whether it’s staff and customers. It’s the people component that I think I enjoy the most.”
Since its inception in 2015, Pedal Haus Brewery has been recognized in the local craft beer scene.
The brewery has amassed more than 34 medals and awards, including best brewery in the United States at the 2019 Copa Cerveza de Americas and a gold medal for the Biere Blanche at the 2021 North American Beer Awards.
“I think I’m most proud of the team we’ve put together,” Wright says of his new Pedal Haus location. “They are some really awesome humans. It’s nice to see them adopting the brand, carrying the torch and providing the same customer experience we’ve been providing in Tempe the past years. They’ve really embraced it and are just really good people.”
Wright — who won the 2015 Business Community Impact person of the year for Tempe and 2016 Restaurateur of the Year prize by the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame — says he aspires to expand sales within the brewery’s retail locations.
“We do sell to other bars and restaurants, but our primary focus is to sell within our own retail locations,” Wright says. “Tempe is not quite maxed out yet, but it’s getting pretty close as far as sales volumes go. I’ve always wanted to expand our footprint around the valley and keep it pretty local to Phoenix. Phoenix is a big market.”
The owner has his sights set on a fourth location — Mesa, with a 6,000-square-foot outdoor patio within walking distance from ASU’s satellite campus there this summer.
“The Mesa location is interesting because of the space we took. The building itself is kind of small,” Wright says, noting that “all planning and permits” are done. He says he expects to see construction begin shortly.
Pedal Haus Phoenix
214 E. Roosevelt Street, Phoenix