HANOVER TWP. — After five successful years in business, Benny’s Brewing Co. is planning an expansion for the first quarter of 2016. .
Owner Ben Schonfeld — if the Schonfeld name sounds familiar, it’s because the family owns Marty’s Blue Room in Sheatown — plans to have a 6,000-square-foot open view brewery and restaurant at 1429 Sans Souci Parkway.
“It’s going to be an experience,” Schonfeld said. “I don’t want people to come in, eat and leave. I want them to experience.”
The facility will host a 90-seat American gastropub — a bar and restaurant that serves high-end beer and food — a 2,000-square-foot beer garden patio, 10 beer barrels and an open hops vine, where people “can pick hops off the vine and add to the beer,” if they’re outside playing bocce ball or engaged in other activities, such as board games on German beer tables.
The restaurant will include barbecue, using the cajun smoker from Marty’s, retrofitted, cleaned and painted for the beer garden patio, appetizers and sandwiches.
The biggest misconception, according to Schonfeld, is the parking. Right now, it’s dirt hills and uneven land. As it comes closer to opening, the parking lot ground will be flattened and will have room for 50 cars, including handicap spaces.
“This is the best spot,” Schonfeld said, noting the thousands of cars that drive the Sans Souci Parkway daily.
In 2010, the Schonfelds expanded Marty’s Blue Room to make way for the brewery. Within the year, other venues, such as Dugan’s Pub in Luzerne and Lucky’s Sporthouse in Wilkes-Barre Township, had Benny’s on tap.
Schonfeld stressed the Sheatown staple, Marty’s Blue Room, isn’t going anywhere. “I wanted to go on my own,” he said.
The brewing equipment at Marty’s will be taken to the new facility, but “they (Marty’s Blue Room) will still have Benny’s on tap.”
Currently, Schonfeld’s flagship beers, consisting of Amber Lager, Pale Ale, Hopenstein and Wit, won’t change with the expansion and the rotating seasonal flavors will also stay. Benny’s Brewing Co. will add “one and done” batches in smaller barrels, with customers having input on the one and done brews.
The expansion of Benny’s will allow Schonfeld to keep up with local demand as well as expand the distribution of the beers.
“We’ll have a 20-county radius in Pennsylvania into Philly,” Schonfeld said.
With the new restaurant, Schonfeld is implementing a Mug Club, for which people can sign up up now. The club is a $75 yearly membership in which members will be offered a free dinner on their birthday and, at the end of the year, given a personalized mug. They will also have Mug Club Monday during which there will be a 10 percent discount and members can try the new monthly brews.
The restaurant will be open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week and Schonfeld eventually wants to have take-out and delivery options available.
Benny’s Brewing Co. is currently accepting applications for wait, kitchen, bar and brewing staff as well as positions for management.