News

Tied House won't close anytime soon

Downtown brewpub getting makeover despite future redevelopment plans

On the brink of being razed last year, downtown Mountain View's longstanding brewery Tied House is now rebounding with gusto.

The brewpub is giving itself a makeover with an interior remodel, updated menu and even fresh flowers for the patio. It might come as a surprise that the 31-year-old restaurant is now cleaning house (both figuratively and literally), since not long ago its owners were pushing to tear the place down.

Does this mean the Tied House is here to stay? Well, sort of.

Plans to close down Tied House are being postponed indefinitely, said John Savage, the pub's new general manager. He was hired in March, with a background working at fine-dining establishments in Napa County and Palm Beach, Florida -- he previously managed food and beverages at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. (He has stories, but a nondisclosure agreement keeps his lips sealed.)

Savage came to Mountain View not long after elected officials shot down a bid by Tied House and the next-door Michelin-star restaurant, Chez TJ, to construct a four-story office building with a new restaurant space on their combined parcels. It was a hugely controversial project that sparked a vocal opposition, chiefly among downtown residents who blamed office growth for ruining the area's charm and character.

Savage said he noticed Tied House had fallen into a "culture of complacency" that needed to change. Things had been neglected at the restaurant, and the fact that employees thought a closure was imminent was certainly a factor, he said.

After the City Council rejected the office proposal, Savage said he was given the go-ahead to revitalize Tied House. That rejuvenation is an ongoing process, he explained, saying he is always finding new aspects of the brewpub to spruce up. A full overhaul of Tied House will probably take a year or longer to complete, he said.

"Literally every week, if not every day, there has been some kind of change here," he said. "When it's all said and done, I guarantee this restaurant will be the best it's ever been."

But plans to redevelop the site are still in the works, said Lou Jemison, Tied House's owner. The development firm Minkoff Group is pursuing some kind of revised plans to redevelop the sites, he said. When ready, those updated plans must go through a lengthy public review process that will likely take years, so it made sense to refresh Tied House in the meantime, he said.

Jemison emphasized that Tied House will be staying in Mountain View, regardless. Under the original office redevelopment plans, Tied House would have taken over the ground-floor restaurant space, he said.

"We were always planning on staying, and we're going to be here way past my lifetime," he said.

Chez TJ owner George Aviet said that the redevelopment is still in the works.

"Nothing has changed or is in the process of being changed," he told the Voice.

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Comments

10 people like this
Posted by Swan mom
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 18, 2018 at 4:30 am

Great news! Would much rather patronize a revamped Tide House (who has a great outdoor patio!) than “Brewhaus” which, for me, will always be tainted as the cheating knockoff of Bierhaus and a stark symbol of the “we do anything for the bottom line” attitude we are depressingly surrounded by these days.


18 people like this
Posted by Humble observer
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2018 at 9:31 am

No, "Swan mom," Drafthaus (not "Brewhaus") won't be "tainted" as some "knockoff" that's just about "the bottom line." Not even for you, once you eventually understand that what you wrote above isn't the real story there at all -- just a poorly-informed guess, repeated lately by people who can't be bothered to look beyond first impressions. If you want to talk about depressing current attitudes, that kind of rush to judgment is a front-runner, even spilling into this article about a completely separate pub, Tied Haus. The actual problems of Bierhaus weren't created by the building's owners at all, it would have been easier and much cheaper for them just to renew a successful business tenant if that had been remotely possible. I don't know why more of that story isn't being presented here by the people involved, but I'm guessing it will be. Look back in a year or two, and see if anyone still clings to these careless assumptions about an "unethical" Tran family "forcing out" a successful business in order to "steal" their "idea."

None of that reflects on Tied House, of course, and mentioning it here distracts regrettably from Tied House's own good news. A beloved local institution getting a new life.


4 people like this
Posted by @ Humble observer
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 18, 2018 at 3:14 pm

There are many, myself included, that think that the owners of Bierhaus were not offered to renew their lease so the landlord could redevelop and/or start their Drafthaus business after seeing how well it went for the Bierhaus owners. So perhaps you can enlighten us all with the real story since MV Voice hasn't.
Thanks


12 people like this
Posted by Humble observer
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2018 at 3:58 pm

To the "@" questioner: First this is completely the wrong thread to be talking about the Bierhaus situation at all (I only responded to someone above who insisted on bringing the topic up here too). A separate, recent Voice story is dedicated to "Drafthaus." Second, that kind of "not offered the lease so that. . ." theory is just second-guessing by people who want a tidy explanation, but aren't willing to wait until they know about the whole business. Third, be patient, don't be so frantic to rush to judgment. I think you'll see more of the story before long, either as comments on the Voice's "Drafthaus" story or in later writings here.


12 people like this
Posted by FirstAmendment
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2018 at 7:11 am

Humble observer: You're not humble enough. You insist there's more to the Bierhaus/Drafthaus story, as though you know something few others know. (Isn't that the Trans' oft-used refrain?) Whatever that revelation, if there is one, it doesn't change the fact that a beloved, successful local business had to shut down and the property owners are attempting to capitalize on its, not their, work and dedication in building it.

Yes, maybe this isn't the ideal thread for that discussion, but let's allow people to comment. And if that includes an I'd-rather-go-here-than-there comment, so be it.

See you at the Tied House. Then again, you may be somewhere else, humbly observing things no one else sees.


15 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2018 at 12:29 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

I am very happy to see that common sense and our community has prevailed in this case! It is good to see that it is possible to save at least a small part of the wonderful character of Old Mountain View. I fully intend to make the pilgrimage from Modesto to Mountain View at least a few times a year to patronize the Tied House. Now, let's hope that establishments such as The Sports Page will also find new life in an environment that has become increasingly hostile to small businesses.



Jim Neal
Modesto, Ca
(Formerly Old Mountain View)


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