Update: Soft opening now scheduled for Thursday and Friday evenings, Aug. 25 & 26, dinner only for now; lunch later.
It looks like Sonoma Draught House is finally ready to open, softly, this week on Wednesday, though I hear it could be as early as today. I was driving by the Sanctuary the other day and noticed that someone had left the door propped open, so I snuck inside to take a peek.
The place looks great, classy in a cabin retreat sort of way. There are touches of horizontal plank wood on the walls and columns of large stacked river rock. Chandeliers fashioned out of beer bottles add a fun touch. Metal stools look like they’d be a literal pain in the butt but they’re actually quite comfortable. And there’s got to be a great story behind the larger than life photo mural inside the front door of a woman of a certain age with a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other who appears to be having the time of her life.
As you might expect from a place called Draught House, beers on tap are a focus of the bar. The folks behind Sonoma are apparently serious about keeping the 49 taps flowing and flowing coldly — just take a look at the refrigerated room behind the taps.
The kitchen is pretty small and a Wood Stone oven is the main piece of equipment. That’s where the cooks will prepare the menu of pizzas and maybe finish off some hot wings. There’s also a line of sandwich presses. I also got my hands on a copy of the opening menus. These are downloads — here’s the list of draught beers ; here are the bottled selections (love the little line at the bottom where the lite beers are listed); and here’s the food menu .
Sonoma Draught House occupies the space in the Sanctuary condominiums where the Beacon used to be and where iMansion most recently — and briefly — tried its hand. It’s interesting to see that the folks behind Sonoma are the old Beacon guys back for another try. (They also operate other businesses in the area, including Mucho across the street.) Won’t know for sure until Wednesday — or possibly today — but it looks like they got it right this time. If it is today, it would open exactly one year to the day that I first mentioned that the restaurant was planned in this news article. Notice how during the year the name of the place changed counties. Long time coming; you’ve all been patient. Now get out there and start supporting all the new restaurants in the area.
Sonoma Draught House is at 100 S. Eola Ave., Orlando. I’ll update here when official word comes in.