Courtesy of Houston Chuckwagon

Houston chefs and restaurateurs are once again teaming up to feed people affected by Hurricane Delta. Steve Sharma (El Big Bad) and Ben McPherson (BOH Pizza & Pasta) originally formed Houston Chuckwagon after Hurricane Laura ravaged the Louisiana coast. Now, they're loading up again to feed people in the path of the oncoming storm.

“When Houston was spared, we were relieved but immediately knew we had to do something to help our neighbors," Sharma said in a statement. "These are the same people who helped Houston during Hurricane Harvey three years ago."

Working with first responders and the Cajun Navy, Houston Chuckwagon delivered 4,000 individually packaged, ready-to-eat meals to Lake Charles residents after Hurricane Laura. They're asking Houstonians to donate $5 per meal via Facebook to help them do it again.

"Our wheelhouse is cooking for people, and the least we can do is provide nourishment in the midst of angst," McPherson said in a statement. "We want to put our specialties and what we do best toward this bigger purpose, and we’ll deliver the help as quickly as possible.”

In addition to their two establishments, McPherson recruited support from some of the other restaurants in Bravery Chef Hall, including Cherry Block Craft Butcher & Kitchen, Andes Café, and Margaux’s Oyster Bar. Chef Martin Weaver (Watever Fresh) and Lake Charles native Hailey Hester helped provide transportation and logistical support.

Houston Chuckwagon plans to become a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization. Anyone interesting partnering, volunteering, or sponsoring its efforts may reach them via email: houstonchuckwagon@gmail.com.

Houston First Courtesy Photo

Houston's Wortham Center triumphantly reopens after devastating Harvey damage

welcome back, wortham

It took a year to heal and restore, but the Wortham Center has now opened its doors once more to artists and audiences, welcoming Houston back to its performing arts home.

When 270 million gallons of water from Hurricane Harvey flooded the underground garages and tunnel connected to the Wortham and then pushed its way into the building — rising 12 feet in the basement — that might have been the end to one of the city’s most iconic performing arts venue, but Houstonians pull together and rebuild.

The mammoth undertaking to restore and return the space to its former glory, while taking measures for flood mitigation in the future, cost an estimate $100 million. Pumping out all the water and preserving the integrity of building was only the first step in those initial recovery months in 2017.

With one-third of 60 air-handling units damaged, and extensive destruction to much of the basement levels mechanical equipment, electrical and plumbing systems, the replacement and reconstruction took time.

Now, with the majority of the repairs complete — including the rebuilding of the Brown Theater stage — the Wortham will once again become a beacon for the performing arts in Houston.

But before audiences pour into the theaters, Houston First Corporation, which manages and operates the Wortham Center, recently threw a homecoming reception of appreciation in the Cullen Theater to congratulate the many people responsible for the Wortham’s reemergence as a vital part of the Theater District and downtown.

Attended by Mayor Sylvester Turner and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, city officials and representatives of many of the major performing arts organizations that call the Wortham home, the event gave those most familiar with the inner workings of the venue a chance to celebrate.

“Not getting back for this season, simply was not an option,” says Mayor Turner. “We knew we would be back and be ready for this season because that’s just who we are. We believe in one another.”

Mayor Turner’s remarks made clear that the Wortham Center’s restoration can represent the city’s perseverance and resilience.

“What happens on this stage is just a small piece of what takes place within the 640 square miles of the city of Houston,” Turner says. “Everyday the show goes on. People perform and everyday some child in our city sees us all do our best. The art that exists in our city is a reflection of who we are.”

As an illustration the Wortham’s impact on so many Houstonian’s lives and how many people it takes ensure the show goes on, Brenda Bazan, Houston First, president and CEO called upon the stage representatives of the many people who call the space home, the dancers, singers, ushers, box office staff, administrators, caterers, maintenance crews, costume and set designers. Together they’ll ensure the performing arts will once again flourish within the Wortham.

As the stage lights go up this week, they’ll first illuminate one of the world’s greatest opera singers, Plácido Domingo, for a special concert with Houston Grand Opera on September 26, but that’s just the beginning of all triumphant returns to the Cullen and Brown stages from HGO, Society for the Performing Arts, Mercury, DaCamera, and of course the Houston Ballet bringing the beloved Nutcracker back to its snow-dusted home in November.

“Through these performances,” says Turner, “it infuses hope, aspiration, and inspiration into the people of the city of Houston.”

The restored Brown Theater.

Restored Brown Theater
Houston First Courtesy Photo
The restored Brown Theater.
Courtesy image

Harvey-ravaged Italian restaurant finds new home, and new name, in Spring Branch

Enter the Warehouse

A flood-ravaged Houston restaurant will rise again in a new location. The owners of Spaghetti Warehouse, the downtown restaurant that shuttered after Hurricane Harvey flooded it with several feet of water, are bringing a new concept to Spring Branch.

Warehouse 72 (named for the year the restaurant opened its first location in Dallas) will update the familiar concept for a new generation. Slated to debut in late 2018 or early 2019, the new restaurant will occupy approximately 8,600 square feet in the Marq*E Entertainment Center. As the renderings above show, the space will feature exposed brick, high ceilings, and an open kitchen.

“Exactly one year ago, Spaghetti Warehouse faced a turbulent and uncertain future after the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey – including the destruction of the longtime Spaghetti Warehouse home in downtown Houston,” Michael Kim, president of Spaghetti Warehouse Restaurants, said in a statement. He added, “It has been a very difficult circumstance in the months that ensued, but we really wanted to come back despite the many challenges associated. Spaghetti Warehouse leadership made a firm commitment that we would return to Houston; Warehouse 72 not only represents that promised homecoming but also an opportunity to re-engage loyal Spaghetti customers while attracting a new generation of fans to the re-imagined concept in the process.”

Executive chef Don Flores' new menu will mix Spaghetti Warehouse classics with a range of new dishes. Flores, who brings experience from several restaurants in New York as well as the Los Angeles location of acclaimed Japanese restaurant Katsuya, will preserve familiar dishes like the 15-layer lasagna and spinach and mozzarella ravioli while also introducing new tastes like porchetta, Gulf shrimp, and short ribs. To drink, expect an all-new cocktail menu, a focus on Italian wines, and an expanded beer selection.

Diners who miss the restaurant have the opportunity to get a taste on Monday, August 27. Flores and his crew will host a pop-up at Evelyn's Park in Bellaire starting from 4 pm to 8 pm; for $15, patrons can order a combination plate with one Warehouse 72 entree and one Spaghetti Warehouse entree. Kids (10 and under) portions will be available for $8. The restaurant will donate 15-percent of sales to Evelyn's Park Conservancy.

Spaghetti Warehouse is coming to the Marq*E Entertainment Center.

Spaghetti Warehouse rendering new location Marq E Entertainment Center
Courtesy image
Spaghetti Warehouse is coming to the Marq*E Entertainment Center.
Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

J.J. Watt reveals how $41.6 million of Harvey donation money to his foundation is being spent

watt a guy

Houston Texans megastar J.J. Watt simply wanted to help. As Harvey was decimating his beloved city, the NFL and pop culture phenom released a video, enlisting fans and followers for support. He challenged them to raise $200,000 for his Justin J. Watt Foundation via a YouCaring drive, “because I know these recovery efforts are going to be massive,” he told viewers.

Watt couldn’t have expected the overwhelming response. In less than two hours, he met his goal; in 24 hours, he surpassed $500,000. Soon he was announcing increases almost daily — the Tennessee Titans, sending love to their former home, sent $1 million to Watt’s campaign alone.

The final number: a staggering $41.6 million — the largest crowdsourced fundraiser in world history, according to the foundation.

Soon, Watt was receiving global praise, and was bestowed with the NFL’s Walter Payton Award, which recognizes the player who best demonstrates a charitable and community spirit. As SportsMap editor Fred Faour noted, the award was a no-brainer.

But, questions quickly arose as to where the funds were being appropriated; Watt even publicly responded to one dubious fan.

Finally, there are answers. On August 27, Watt’s foundation released a statement outlining the progress of the contributions made to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund started by Watt “following the destruction left by Hurricane Harvey 12 months ago.”

All funds have been distributed to eight nonprofits: All Hands and Hearts, Americares, Boys & Girls Clubs, Baker Ripley, Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, and SBP, according to the statement released by the foundation and the Houston Texans.

Additionally, the monies have so far been used on:

  • The cleanup, repair and rebuilding of over 600 homes.
  • The recovery and rebuilding of over 420 childcare centers and after-school programs, serving over 16,000 children.
  • The distribution of over 26,000,000 meals to those affected.
  • Physical and mental health services to over 6,500 individuals.
  • Distribution of medicine to over 10,000 patients.

The statement also outlines a 12-month plan, stating “the work continues.”

  • Home restoration and disaster case management, including assistance with temporary housing, furniture, appliances, transportation and more with Baker Ripley.
  • Continued assistance with both physical and mental health services, including the distribution of medicine and implementation of mobile medical clinics with Americares.
  • Additional support to handle the massive increase in demand following Harvey, covering 48 counties through the Houston Food Bank, Coastal Bend Food Bank, Food Bank of the Golden Crescent and Southeast Texas Food Bank with Feeding America.
  • Rebuilding Harvey-damaged homes, while also focusing on providing resiliency for future storms in Rockport, Aransas County, Refugio County and San Patricio County with All Hands & Hearts.
  • Rebuilding and restoring damaged Boys & Girls Clubs centers in Harvey-affected areas, serving over 5,000 youth.
  • Repairing and rebuilding Harvey-damaged homes with Habitat for Humanity.

In addition to details of the disbursement, Watt released a lengthy letter to fans and supporters of his cause.

“As I reflect on the events of Hurricane Harvey one year ago, the memories of destruction and devastation remain, but they are accompanied by memories of hope, selflessness and the beauty of the human spirit. The actions of professional first responders and everyday citizens alike were an inspiration to the world and a shining example of the inherent good that lies within us all. Those actions locally were then supported by the actions of hundreds of thousands from around the world showing their support and donating their money in order to help out in any way they could.

I was fortunate enough to witness that generosity first hand, as the fundraiser that I started with a simple goal of $200,000 turned into an unbelievable outpouring of support from people all around the globe.

When it was all said and done, after the late donations and checks that came in after the deadline were counted, the total amount that was donated and is now hard at work in the community was $41.6 million. In the past year, those funds have been used to repair and rebuild houses, allowing people to finally return and once again have a place to call ‘home’. Those funds have restored and rebuilt childcare centers so that parents can once again have a place to take their children where they know they will be safe, so that they can return to work and resume a sense of normalcy. Those funds have provided millions and millions of meals to people who weren’t sure where their next meal might be coming from after being devastated by the storm.

And those funds provided physical and mental health care to those who suffered from the events of that awful weekend one year ago. While a great deal has been accomplished in the past 12 months, there is still much work to be done. Moving forward, there will be more of the same, as we continue to work with our incredible nonprofit partners to provide as much help and support as we possibly can for those affected by Harvey. I cannot thank everyone enough for your support and generosity.

You have truly provided an unbelievable example of what the human spirit is capable of accomplishing. Every time that I am fortunate enough to witness someone step back into their home for the first time or a child run around on the playground again, I am reminded of the generosity of strangers that helped make it all possible. Thank you and never stop spreading the positivity! #HoustonStrong”

Photo by Eric Sandler

West Houston neighborhood restaurant finally reopens following Harvey shutter

Cafe Benedicte is back

As Houston approaches the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, parts of the city are still recovering from the storm’s massive floodwaters. That’s particularly true in west Houston, where the decision to release water from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs kept people out of their homes and businesses for two weeks or more.

Despite the challenges, Houstonians are determined to come back from these challenges, as one restaurant demonstrates.

Cafe Benedicte, a Mediterranean restaurant on Memorial Drive west of Eldridge, had almost four feet of water in it for 18 days. Closed since the storm, it quietly reopened on August 6.

“As I got here, I started to see and smell the disaster,” owner Vahid Navissi tells CultureMap. “The next morning, we got a demolition crew in here. My family and my friends were all here. We were in awe as to the extent of the damage. By the time we got done, you could see all the way to the other end of the shopping center.”

Due to an oversight, Navissi had neglected to pay a $639 premium on his flood insurance policy. As a result, all of his claims on the damage had been denied. Although the restaurant’s landlord, local real estate developer Braun Enterprises, offered to help, Navissi simply didn’t have the $250,000 or so it would take to rebuild the restaurant. He thought he was done.

Thankfully, the relationships with his customers that Navissi had spent almost 15 years building paid off. “One of my old, longtime customers and friends, who had always said he wanted to open a restaurant with me, he sought me out and said why aren’t you back yet,” Navissi says. “I said, ‘I can’t get the credit line.’ He said, ‘I’ll build it. You run it.’”

With money in hand, Navissi started rebuilding in May. He even did a little light remodeling by extending the bar from nine seats to 22, converting a private dining room into a lounge, and adding a draft system for craft beer.

For the first two or three weeks, Cafe Benedicte is running a limited menu so that Navissi can get his kitchen crew trained and up to speed. After only a week of service, he’s already seeing a mix of returning regulars and some new faces.

As always, the restaurant will earn its customers’ business by going above and beyond. Navissi says he’s never been shy about making something off the menu — everything from fried chicken to kibbe — if he gets a little advance warning and has the ingredients on hand.

“I was fortunate to put a team together that cooks and serves with love and focus,” Navissi says. “Those are the things that are important to me. To have the honor of being people’s second kitchen, it puts the pressure on to do it right.”

Navissi may be feeling the pressure, but for regulars who can’t wait for that first bite of Cafe Benedicte’s signature lasagna or to linger over the popular brunch, just having the restaurant back may be enough.


Another Harvey hit: Once-popular pub closes 2 north Houston spots

More Harvey Shutters

Two locations of a once-popular bar chain are closed as of this week. As has become the norm recently, the establishment cited Hurricane Harvey as one of the causes.

Baker Street Pub & Grill announced on Facebook that both its Willowbrook and Cypress locations closed on Monday. Two location in Fort Worth also closed, CultureMap Fort Worth reports. A sister concept in Austin, Sherlock's Baker St. Pub and Grill, has also closed, but — wait for it — the Houston location of Sherlock's on Westheimer remains open. All of the shuttered bars posted essentially identical messages to Facebook that read in part:

"Although the timing of this may be difficult for everyone, we want to assure you that we will provide opportunities for every eligible employee to be placed at another location. We’ve made a lot of friends and we hope that your memories here will last a lifetime. This chapter closes, but another will open soon."

Of course, as many of the comments on the posts pointed out, Harvey worst affects didn't reach Cypress or Willowbrook — never mind Austin or Fort Worth. The decisions to shutter seems even more abrupt given that both the Austin and Willowbrook locations posted a full month's worth of band bookings on December 1.

The closures are only the latest setbacks for owner HUSA Management Inc. Earlier this year, the company closed the Local Pour in River Oaks to make way for a 30-story luxury high rise. Baker St. Pub's Rice Village location closed in 2016 when the property owner elected not to renew its lease; that location ultimately became Houston's second Hopdoddy Burger Bar.

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Rock icon Bono's daughter makes her own sweet music in Flora and Son

in bloom

The new Apple TV+ film Flora and Son centers on a single mother and her teenage son, a situation that typically calls for an uplifting story about the mother’s struggles trying to support the two of them, and the bond that develops between them as go through the troubles together. While that element exists somewhat here, it goes down a much different path that’s both saltier and equally as rewarding.

Eve Hewson and Oren Kinlan in Flora and Son

Photo courtesy of Apple TV+

Eve Hewson and Oren Kinlan in Flora and Son.

Set in Dublin, Ireland, the film follows Flora (Eve Hewson), a single mom to Max (Oren Kinlan), who gets in a fair bit of trouble. She shares custody with her ex, Ian (Jack Reynor), and their antagonistic relationship, along with Max being a teenager, likely has an effect on how Flora and Max get along. A typical interchange between mother and son has them calling each other all sorts of bad names, although there rarely seems to be any true animosity behind their arguments.

When a guitar Flora refurbishes for Max goes unappreciated, she instead starts taking online lessons herself with an American named Jeff (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). She’s no less brash with him, but her sincere interest in learning how to play and in finding out more about Jeff’s music opens a new door for Flora. Soon, a discovery that Max is making music of his own on his laptop helps them communicate better than they have in a long time.

Flora & Son is the latest music-focused film from writer/director John Carney (Once, Sing Street), and he once again finds the sweet spot in telling a personal story enhanced by song. Flora has more than a few rough edges, making her a less-than-ideal protagonist, but the heart of the character shines through precisely because she has no filter. Once music is added to the equation, it become that much easier to see the type of person she is and why you should root for her.

Both Hewson and Gordon-Levitt are charming actors, so they establish a connection through a screen well. Fortunately, though, Carney chooses not to leave it at that, adding a slight fantasy element to some of their scenes by having Flora imagine Jeff in the room with her. A romantic element naturally arises, but it’s the unexpected way in which two lonely souls find each other from across the world that makes them the most interesting.

There are a couple of decent songs that come out of the process of all of the music-making, but nothing that you could truly call an earworm. Instead, it’s the feeling you get seeing the characters interact when they’re sharing music with each other that makes the film sing. Only one character could be classified as a professional musician, with the rest of them making music for the pure joy of it, an emotion Carney translates well in his storytelling.

Hewson (the daughter of U2’s Bono, in case you were unaware) is having a moment after 15 years in the business. She has a boldness that serves her as well in this role as it did in the recent Apple TV+ limited series, Bad Sisters. This is Kinlan’s first major part, and he acquits himself well. Both Gordon-Levitt and Reynor are seasoned actors who know how to make the most of their limited scenes.

The depiction of a mother/child relationship in Flora and Son is atypical, but it still winds up in a great spot thanks to the power of music and some fine performances. Carney’s love for both songs and filmmaking has yielded some memorable movies over the years, this one included.


Flora and Son opens in select theaters and on Apple TV+ on September 29.

Spectacular SPI sandcastles, F1, ACL, and more Texas travel tidbits in October

where to travel right now

Fall is finally here, and with the (hopefully) cooler temps will come the chance to get outside and enjoy autumn activities all around Texas. Can't decide where to take a quick vacation, road trip, or staycation? Here are 11 events, special celebrations, and hotel happenings to help plan a getaway in October.

Along the Gulf Coast

What better way to celebrate the arrival of spooky season than by seeking out haunted ghost experiences in Corpus Christi? The Heritage Park Museum will showcase four reportedly haunted houses, and phantom chasers will delight in visiting the USS Lexington during the "Haunting on the Blue Ghost" event, October 6-31, to glimpse any ghostly crew members lurking about the vessel. The abandoned Nueces County Courthouse also has some ghouls of its own, with reports of voices, noises, and screams being heard following a hurricane that devastated the area more than a century ago.

Summer might be over, but a trip to the beach is always in the cards on South Padre Island. The annual Sandcastle Days falls on October 5-8, drawing the attention of sandcastle-building experts, food and craft vendors, and free family-friendly entertainment. Then, from October 19-21, classic cars and motorcycles rev up the brand new Chrome in the Sand Festival. The weekend will consist of live performances, car shows, a poker tournament, and more. Tickets for the Chrome in the Sand Festival begin at $20 for general admission, $55 for VIP, and $500 for VIP tables.

Around Austin

It's finally festival season down in the Texas Capital, beginning with the iconic Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park for two consecutive weekends from October 6-8 and 13-15. Luckily for Texas travelers, CultureMap's got the scoop on all things ACL – from can't-miss acts, to new eats, and more. One-day general admission tickets begin at $170. Weekend One tickets are waitlisted, but there are still one-day general admission tickets available for Weekend Two. Weekend passes for both weekends are waitlisted.

Following ACL, Austin will race to the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas from October 20-22. Red Bull Racing has already won the 2023 Constructors' Championship after its longstanding driver Max Verstappen won the Japanese Grand Prix, and Verstappen is well in the lead to win his third-consecutive World Drivers' Championship title. Three-day general admission wristbands are $475, two-day GA is $425, and three-day parking passes are $275.

F1 racecarRace to Austin for the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. Photo courtesy of Circuit of The Americas

In the Hill Country

It's never too late for a day by the pool, and the luxurious Lantana Spa at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa has opened reservations for their renovated pool cabanas with a special VIP poolside service and deluxe amenities. The private, two-person Canyons, Preserve, and Oaks Spa Cabanas each include an unlimited mimosa service, shaded seating and chaise lounges, a dedicated server from 11 am-5 pm, and more. Cabana reservations can be made by resort guests or in addition to a spa service, and rates begin at $400.

Nonprofit trade association Texas Hill Country Wineries is bringing back its Texas Wine Month passport this month for a self-guided journey through 45 local wineries with special discounts scattered along the way. With participating estates scattered throughout popular weekend destinations like Fredericksburg, Johnson City, and New Braunfels, it’s a chance to explore the Hill Country and soak in those autumn vibes. Wine passport-holders can visit up to four wineries daily to get the most out of a weekend getaway. Individual passes are $85, and couples' passes are $120.

Speaking of wineries, one Marble Falls-based winery is hosting regular events throughout October, which is perfect for those holding a Texas Wine Month passport. Every Saturday and Sunday, folks can venture out to Flat Creek Estates & Vineyard for their effervescent Bubbles and Brunch from 11 am to 3 pm. And if the trip transforms from a brunch outing into an all-day affair, guests catch live music from local Texas bands during the winery's weekend music series from 2-6 pm. Ernie Vasquez and Evan Grubbs are scheduled the weekend of October 7-8, and Stephen Daly and Andrew Lopez will play on the weekend of October 14-15.

Throughout Texas

If searching for beautiful fall foliage around Texas is at the top of the priority list, cabin rental agency Smoky Mountains' prediction map is the perfect guide to help estimate when the leaves will begin changing throughout the state and the U.S. The map predicts most of Texas will have minimal-to-patchy changing leaves by the end of October, and most of the state's trees will be at their color-changing peak in November.

Dallas-based luxury bus operator Vonlane added 60 new weekly departures to meet anticipated high demand for the fall travel season. There are now more than 430 trips per week departing Vonlane hubs in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Travelers can book their trips online for both one-way or round-trips, with fares beginning at $119.

Two unmistakable cutesy pink trucks are going on tour throughout Texas this month, with stops in several major cities. That's right – the cult craze Hello Kitty Cafe Truck and Barbie Truck are bringing a horde of new branded clothing and accessories to adoring fans in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Houstonians can head to First Colony Mall to say hi to Hello Kitty on October 7, then head to Baybrook Mall in Friendswood to catch the Barbie Truck on October 21. Barbie will stick around to visit The Woodlands Mall on October 28.

In Waco

The annual Magnolia Silobration at The Silos will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Chip and Joanna Gaines' Waco-based home design and lifestyle empire from October 19-21. Fixer Upper fans can visit the Silos to enjoy a three-day adventure of local artisan and food vendors, live music performances, shopping, and more. The festival is free, but note that certain ticketed experiences like the 20th anniversary tour, weekend rooftop passes, and Evenings with Chip and Jo are sold out.

Houston’s oldest craft brewery taps new chef for its buzzy beer garden and restaurant

Saint Arnold's new chef

Houston’s oldest craft brewery has found a new chef to lead its popular restaurant. Chase Reid is now the executive chef at Saint Arnold Brewing Company’s beer garden and restaurant.

Hired a couple of months ago, Reid replaces chef Ryan Savoie, who had been with the brewery since 2013. A French-trained chef, Reid came to Saint Arnold’s attention after well-regarded stints at Hop Scholar Ale House in Spring and the Historic Hill House and Farm in Willis.

“I’m thrilled to join the talented team at Saint Arnold and build on the legacy they’ve created in Texas,” Reid said in a statement. “I love the creativity that comes with cooking and have always been passionate about craft beer. I’m very much looking forward to combining the two.”

Recent visitors to Saint Arnold have gotten a first taste of the chef’s work with pizza specials and new additions such as a house made bratwurst burger. He’s also the culinary mind behind Saint Arnold’s recent Doughnut Sunday offerings that pair freshly fried treats with different beers from the company’s portfolio on the firs Sunday of every month. Overall, he’s focused on maintaining the quality and consistency that has been the restaurant’s hallmark since it opened in 2018.

Reid will more formally introduce himself to the brewery’s fans at the upcoming Great Pumpkin Beer Dinner. Held on Halloween night, the meal will feature a five-course menu paired with seasonal and limited release beers, including 2013 Pumpkinator, 2023 Pumpkinator, and 2020 bourbon barrel-aged Pumpkinator with cocoa nibs. See the full menu and purchase tickets ($125) on the Saint Arnold website.

“Chase’s enthusiasm for both food and beer got all of us excited to have him joining our team,” Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner added. “Our Beer Garden & Restaurant is a welcoming place to enjoy our world class beers. We have the same standards for our food as we do for our beer and are always working to elevate and create an experience that will keep our guests coming back again and again.”