Developer Doug Kennedy said he hopes construction on his new beer and wine garden entertainment complex on Sonora’s South Green Street will begin in October, and he hopes to be open for business by spring 2017.
New design drawings of the $3 million project show how Kennedy hopes the completed beer garden will fit together with existing properties at the location, the Bourbon Barrel and Stage 3 Theatre.
Kennedy touted updates and revisions for his plans this week in a post on the Bourbon Barrel’s Facebook page, which generated numerous comments and shares. The latest renderings are not finalized. Kennedy says he expects additional changes when construction begins.
“We’ve changed the plans around,” Kennedy said Friday at Hot Shotz Sports Bar and Grill on South Washington Street. “Some of the key changes are we’re going to allow families inside, from opening each day until 8 p.m.
“And we’re going to be a dog-friendly facility,” Kennedy said. “We’ll have accommodations for dogs, a place for them to lounge, a misting area for the dogs, dog treats.”
Kennedy said he does not expect to have to pursue additional approvals from Sonora City Council or Planning Commission officials.
“I don’t believe so, but we’re working very closely with the city to ensure we’re on the same page, and that they are just as excited about this as we are,” Kennedy said. “We want to be an addition. We don’t want to be going against the look and feel of downtown Sonora. We want to complement it.”
The new design shown in drawings released this week will expand the Stage 3 Theatre, “open up the outside for the beer garden” and allow the Bourbon Barrel “to maintain its charm, while feeling included in the growth and expansion,” Kennedy said on Facebook.
Coordinating with his partners at Stage 3 will allow for 15 to 25 additional entertainment events a year, maybe more, Kennedy said.
“When they have a play, they’ll perform in the theater,” Kennedy said. “Each August they’ll set out their annual schedule. Dates they don’t book I’ll use the theater for national music acts, comedy, tribute bands, local and regional acts.”
Stage 3 Theatre has shows remaining this year. “Kate: The Unexamined Life of Katharine Hepburn” is scheduled Sept. 9 to Sept. 25, “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” is scheduled Oct. 13 to Oct. 30, and “Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits Vol 1 - Created by Gerard Alessandrini” is scheduled Nov. 25 to Dec. 18.
“One reason we got into downtown Sonora is we believe there’s going to be a renaissance,” Kennedy said. “We have new, aggressive owners downtown now, from here at Hot Shotz to Emberz, Talulah’s and Diamondback. Vision Sonora is building hope and anticipation. There’s a different mindset. It’s more than opening a business and waiting for customers to arrive. Downtown merchants are involved now.”