Red House Pizza owner Shanan Spearing, along with general manager Oliver Peach, will embark on a fresh culinary adventure right next door in the old Mueller College building. Joined by brother Joe Peach, former lead brewer at Lightning Brewery, Kairoa Brewing Company aims to serve as a neighborhood gathering spot.
“We want to incorporate the community spirit of University Heights and add a place that people can grab a bite to eat, hang out with their kids, and enjoy locally crafted beer. It’s important for us to embrace being a family owned and operated restaurant and go that extra mile to create a family friendly space as well,” says Spearing.
Kairoa is a throwback to the founders’ roots, with both Spearing himself and the Peach family hailing from New Zealand. They want to create something that is reminiscent of New Zealand food culture, yet new and exciting.
The design, a mix of San Diego cool and Kiwi ingenuity, is headed up by local architect Jason Maune. The focus is on creating an open, welcoming place for locals that will fit seamlessly into the neighborhood, with a rooftop area with a play space for kids, as well as more secluded and private seating areas. The 16-place parking lot in the rear will remain for patrons, to alleviate some of the parking challenges in the neighborhood.
The original building at the northeast corner of Park and Madison, built in 1928, housed four separate businesses. Its latest update was in 1990, when Mueller College Community Wellness Center occupied the location, leaving the building as we know it today.
When thinking about the design of the new space, Spearing explains, “We really wanted something that would add to our amazing community and not take away from the qualities that make it unique. We’re very excited to bring community and family options to University Heights
with our brewpub project.”
The food will be a mix of urban California fare, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, along with Kiwi standards such as fish and chips, meat pies, and sausage rolls. With 22 taps and beer brewed in-house, Kairoa’s focus will be on German and English style beers, IPAs, and small batch specialty beers. The brewpub is slated to open in late spring or summer of 2018.