After four years in the East Village, the Knotty Barrel has announced a plan to significantly expand its footprint in the neighborhood. The gastropub currently occupies the corner of Market and 9th, but it will be annexing the next-door property, which housed Valentine's Mexican Food, for more dining space and a game room— a cozy den filled with TV's, darts and more. Two-thirds of the new space will be turned into a 5 BBL microbrewery named Knotty Brewing; Ken Lovi, president of the Knotty Barrel who partnered with RMD Group to open the Gaslamp's Don Chido and Rustic Root, told Eater that they have not hired a brewmaster yet, but the intention will be to produce true-to-style, sessionable ales.
The craft-beer centric eatery is also transforming an adjacent 2,300-square-foot parking lot into Knotty's Backyard, which be accessible through the restaurant and have its own entrance on 9th Avenue next to The Kebab Shop. FoundationForForm, the architecture and development firm behind progressive mixed-use projects that include the North Park Post Office and Golden Hill's You Are Here, is lending some design expertise to the expansion project; co-founder Craig Abenilla says the pet-friendly outdoor dining and drinking space will have a "suburban yard" feel within an urban setting featuring its own bar, landscaping that's lush but drought-tolerant, a hedge-encircled fire pit, water features and a raised cornhole court.
Lovi, who shared that the Knotty Barrel partners do intend to open more locations, perhaps next in North County, says that the dining room extension and backyard space should be ready to activate by Spring 2016, with the brewery up-and-running by summer.