Phoenix New Times
August 15, 2012
by Laura Hahnefeld
Tempe-sians who like a little bicycle with their brats and booze will want to get their chainwheels checked before cruising down Mill Avenue in September. That’s when the city’s new bike-friendly beer garden, Handlebar & Grill, opens for business.
The concept comes from restaurateur Julian Wright, owner of two other Tempe venues: La Bocca Urban Pizzeria and Wine Bar and Canteen Modern Tequila Bar.
Located at 680 South Mill Ave (next door to Fat Tuesday) Handlebar will feature 24 craft beers on tap, a full bar, and German-inspired munchies like brats, sausages, fries, and Belgium pretzels.
And like any new restaurant preparing to open for business, Handlebar has already had a few challenges to address. For one, its name.
According to its Facebook page, Handlebar’s pre-opening issues have included a pipe bursting open, the landlord rejecting the exterior sign, and the county health department saying hell no to plans for an outdoor kitchen.
Then there’s the restaurants name, which, along with the concept, happens to be already taken by (whoops!) a place in Apache Junction. Not to worry though, Wright says he’s worked it out with the owners and the Tempe Handlebar will keep its name.
When Handlebar does open in early September, it promises a “brewery meets urban loft” look with highlights like a 60-foot long indoor/outdoor bar, a 2,000 squre-foot and dog-friendly patio with hooks where customers can hang their bikes, and decor touches like reclaimed wood, brick, and white subway tile…