Right around the time when the Seahawks begin to play their season, Craig Dickens hopes to be pouring beer again at his family’s Ale House Pub & Eatery. The University Place restaurant was damaged in a two-alarm fire July 12. The Ale House has since been closed.
The Dickens, who have owned the Ale House since 2000, are facing a major remodel after the fire, which is believed to have started somewhere on or near the cooking line in the kitchen, said Craig Dickens by phone. Craig and his wife run the daily operations at The Ale House, while parents Dick and Marina Dickens own the pub.
With 64 beers on tap and one of few surviving eateries in that stretch of neighborhood near University Place - The Keg and nearby Galaxy movie theater closed this year - the Ale House caters to sports fans, burger lovers and craft beers. When they reopen, the focus will remain just that, said Dickens.
What’s unknown still is the extent of the remodeling needed. Dickens said that insurance is paying for the remodel (employees also will be paid through their business interruption insurance) and adjustors are evaluating what needs to be fixed. So far, the interior has been gutted and furnishings need restoration. The ceiling was damaged. Kitchen equipment is being evaluated. Because of the extent of the damage, it’s difficult to predict an exact reopening, said Dickens, but he’s hoping for September and the start of football season.
Upon reopening, expect to see the pub’s vast tap selection of 64 beers, but growlers will be part of the new lineup. They’ll continue hosting brewer nights with guest breweries. They’re also considering a new menu.
Dickens said the reaction to neighboring businesses and longtime customers has touched the Dickens family. Nearby bowling alley Narrows Plaza Bowl has offered assistance for staffers and customers have stopped by to give encouraging words, said Dickens.
Check back in August for an update.