Food & Drink

New name, menu on tap for this downtown pub. It means no shawarma fries, more beer

Downtown Fresno’s HoP PK is saying goodbye to shawarma fries and falafel in a bid to better fit into the brewery district.

The brewpub announced Tuesday it would be ending its partnership with Pita Kabob and would reopen as House of Pendragon’s third brewery location.

The restaurant closed on Tuesday and Wednesday to retool its menu, update its POS systems and get the staff up to speed on the changes.

“It’s a lot to do in two days,” says Tommy Caprelian, who opened House of Pendragon in 2013.

HoP PK opened in downtown Fresno in 2017 to much excitement and an hour-long waits for tables. The brewpub was a collaboration between the Sanger beer maker and the popular Visalia restaurant chain, and seen as a needed boost for the area’s fledgling brewery district.

But the collaboration was an entity separate from the brewery, which meant restrictions on how it could operate and confusion for the general public, who often didn’t know what to make of the brewpub, Caprelian says.

“Was it the brewery? Was it an offshoot of Pita Kabob?”

The split was a mutual decision, one that allows House of Pendragon to better operate as part of the brewery district, doing crowler/growler fills, can releases and special brewery events — things it couldn’t do as a more traditional restaurant.

Because people will ask: There will still be a rotating list of guest taps.

Caprelian says they are working on the required permits, which could take anywhere from 60 days to 90 days.

“We wish Pita Kabob all the best,” Caprelian says.

“We’re going to miss the food, especially the shawarma fries.”

The restaurant will reopen on Thursday under the HoP PK brand, but with a transitional menu that will include new appetizers, plus gourmet burgers and the like, Caprelian says.

“Basically stuff you want to eat when you’re out enjoying beer, you know?”

As a brewer, Caprelian is a bit of a tinkerer. He likes to get creative with new brews, which are released at a fairly steady stream. He wants his chefs to be the same in the kitchen.

“We have some talented cooks,” he says.

“What’s nice is that they can now explore.”

A final menu may include some barbecue items like a brisket sandwich or pulled pork tacos, but there will be new items popping up weekly during the transition.

The brewery is looking for customer input in deciding the final menu. So don’t be afraid to be vocal about what you’d like to see, Caprelian says.

A re-grand opening will be scheduled in the coming months.

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Joshua Tehee covers breaking news for The Fresno Bee, with a focus on entertainment and a heavy emphasis on the Central Valley music scene. You can see him share the area’s top entertainment options Friday mornings on KMPH’s “Great Day” and read more of his work here.
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