Early next month, World of Beer will open its first location in New York City, a 5,000-square-foot space in Chelsea, six blocks from Madison Square Garden.
The demographics of make Manhattan, as well as New Yorkers' love of craft beer, make it a favorable market for World of Beer, says Paul Avery, CEO of the 71-unit brand. "Chelsea is a competitive market; we really need to be on top of our game," he adds.
The opportunity to enter New York City arose through a franchisee, Will Mingo, who has a six-year development right in the state of New York. Mingo has opened two locations thus far in Albany and Syracuse, and Avery says he has been working the Chelsea area diligently over the last two years before landing this spot on the corner of Eighth Avenue and 26th Street.
In a market as competitive as New York, Avery says the selection of craft beers from around the world will help differentiate this location, as well as the servers with their acute beer knowledge. As World of Beer does in each market, local brews will be on tap, including selections from Brooklyn Brewery, Six Point Brewery, and Blue Point Brewing. There will also be 22–24 ciders.
Another point that will help the restaurant stand out in the crowded Manhattan landscape is World of Beer's infusion tower, specifically designed for the brand by Micromatic. Inside this 3-foot-high, stainless steel pipe, employees can infuse beers with coffee and fruit, creating exclusive offerings and samples.
As part of the grand opening festivities, World of Beer–Chelsea will host a craft brewers roundtable event later in the summer, a charity event with a local Chelsea organization, and tap takeovers with local breweries.
This opening is part of a greater push to open 35 World of Beer stores this year, bringing the company's total to nearly 110. New stores also offer BEERunch, a Sunday brunch whose menu includes items such as Belgian beer-infused waffles and Bloody Marys. BEERunch, offered at about 20 locations, is in the process of a system-wide rollout, Avery says.
By Sonya Chudgar