Sometimes I feel like I am on some weird version of the Truman Show meets Leave it to Beaver with a beer twist. I’ll walk through Old Town on my way to various meetings, usually over beer or to discuss beer, smiling and saying hi to everyone I pass because that is what we do here. On the way I will run into lots of people on their way to lunch, a meeting, running errands. Maybe Rosie, a distributor with Summit; Nate, the owner of The Welsh Rabbit; or Jeff, the proprietor of Tap and Handle. Nico from Odell Brewing will probably honk and wave as he drives by on his way to deliver cases and kegs of beer. It is all very Americana, very small town. Old Town is the business and entertainment hub of the Fort Collins community, but not everyone can live within walking distance like I am lucky enough to be able to do.
Ryan Wallace and his wife Tiffany are trying to bring that community feel to another part of Fort Collins with their new bar, William Oliver’s Publick House. The main feature of this small, quaint bar located at 2608 S. Timberline Road will be an array of nearly 200 whisk(e)ys. They are hoping it will become a neighborhood bar for those that live south of Prospect Ave, an area dubbed by locals as “SoPro”. It is easily accessible by bike located just off the Power Trail.
The space can hold up to 47 people and had to undergo extensive construction. No tenant had previously used the space in the new shopping center on Drake and Timberline, so it had to be
built from the ground up. However, this provided Wallace with a blank canvass. “Old Town is a cozy environment” says Wallace, “we tried to recreate an old, cozy space. We wanted the same ambiance.” They did this by installing a stone wall, and table tops made of barrel lids.
Their dedication as a neighborhood bar goes beyond just interior decorating. In their dizzying array of whisk(e)ys they plan to have as many Colorado brands as possible. Wallace, having previously worked for Pateros Creek Brewing Company, didn’t want to leave the beer lovers out either. 16 tap handles are dedicated to Colorado brews only. 14 are reserved exclusively for Fort Collins and Loveland beers, 1 for a cider made in Colorado and 1 for a beer from somewhere else in the state. They also plan to source their food as locally as possible. Their menu is designed to pair with your drink, which includes locally made chips and salsa, a smoked salmon spread and chocolate chip cheese ball.
Once the bar is up and running, they plan to host educational events with distillers, brand representatives and also Wilbur’s Total Beverage. “A lot of people don’t understand what Colorado’s capabilities are and what we produce.” explains Wallace, “Everyone knows we make great beer, but we also make a killer rum, a great vodka and more. We are a distilling powerhouse and I want to share that”. He believes that education is what William Oliver’s will be best at providing for the community.
A Grand Opening celebration will be held on Friday March 29th, but they are already open for business every day from 11am-2am. So far the excitement for their opening has been high, and they have filled up the space. “This is just a passion project for me. The fact that other people are excited about it is just icing on the cake.”, says Wallace
Opening Tap Line Up
Grimm Bros Farmer’s Daughter
Odell Cutthroat Porter
Verboten Orange Blossom Honey Wheat
New Belgium Shift
New Belgium Heavenly Feijoa Tripel
New Belgium Fat Tire
New Belgium Hoppy Bock Lager
Equinox Night Rider
Black Bottle Nook IPA
Pateros Creek Car 21
Funkwerk Tropic King
Fort Collins Maibock
Big Beaver Beaver Stubble Stout
Colorado Cider Co Glider Cider
Great Divide Wolfgang
giving back to community trough education