Bethany Clough

Goat cheese burgers & beer: This Fresno brewery and restaurant has opened its third location

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The Duck is officially open.

The Mad Duck restaurant and craft brewery opened its third location Wednesday, this one at Marks and Herndon avenues in Fresno.

The locally-owned restaurant also brews beer on site at the new location. Diners can watch the process through roll-up glass doors.

Mad Duck’s other locations will remain open. That includes the 9-year-old Mad Duck Neighborhood Grill & Taphouse in at Herndon and Willow avenues in Clovis, (affectionately dubbed the “baby duck” for its small size) and The Mad Duck at Campus Pointe.

“When we built Campus Pointe, we thought we’d never have to build a new brewery,” said Mad Duck owner Alex Costa. “We’re just so incredibly fortunate when something goes so right.”

With that brewery bursting at the seams, Costa knew they’d have to up their brewing capacity if they wanted to expand.

The result is a 6,000-square-foot newly-constructed building that can seat about 120 people with a full brewery, a patio, full bar and a banquet room.

Costa is hoping people in the area will view it as their neighborhood bar.

“I think northwest Fresno is seriously underserved for a happy bar, (where) you can see your friends,” he said.

That corner has gotten a boost recently as the Starbucks reopened and Ampersand Ice Cream opened its second location there in February. To find Mad Duck, look for the giant yellow duck on the side of the building.

The food

The new Duck has the same menu as the one at Campus Pointe, though it did recently make some big changes to its menu too.

There are creative burgers, like a crispy jalapeño goat cheese burger with peppered bacon and fried jalapeños. There are also sandwiches, salads and pub-style items like fried pickles and a Bavarian soft pretzel served with a beer-cheese sauce.

One thing to look for: The Nashville-style chicken sandwich. It’s a lightly fried chicken breast, brushed with cayenne and Cajun spices to give it a kick. The spice is balanced out with cooling coleslaw and thick-cut pickles piled atop the chicken.

You can get it with a side of sweet potato tots.

Another expected big seller: The ahi poke lettuce cups. These are butter lettuce cups filled with fresh ahi tuna tossed in a ginger-soy dressing, with sushi rice, edamame and tortilla strips.

This menu also has the vegan Impossible burger, a gluten-free bun and healthier options like salmon.

Most dishes range from $12 to $18.

The beer

But of course, this is a brewery. All the beer brewed on site is served there. Mad Duck does not distribute in bottles.

You can get a pint, try a tasting flight or take a 64-ounce growler home with you.

Eight Mad Duck beers are on tap, along with eight other beers from other breweries.

One to try: Hopical Paradise, an American-style wheat beer that won gold in the category at the 2019 California State Fair Commercial Beer Competition.

Also popular are Mad Duck’s Honey Pot Blonde, its IPA and its Citra IPA.

With the newfound brewing capacity they are also working on a lighter, lager-style beer that’s ideal for hot weather, Costa said.

“Sometimes you want something that’s really crisp,” he said.

Mad Duck is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and from 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

Details: Mad Duck is at 7050 N. Marks Ave.

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