Gilbert Realtors Karen and Jesse Herfel

Gilbert Realtors Karen and Jesse Herfel are adding “restaurateur” to their resumes after landing a franchise for a Brass Tap restaurant-bar in Gilbert’s new Verde at Cooley Station development.

You kind of expect seasoned real estate pros like Karen and Jesse Herfel of Gilbert to know the next big thing in locations.

What you may not expect the Realtors to do is seize the moment and get into owning a bar.

That’s what the Herfels will be doing late this year when their Brass Tap, a craft beer and entertainment venue opens.

They’re opening it at Verde at Cooley Station in Gilbert, where at least a half dozen other restaurants and related establishments are slated to debut when it opens late this year.

“This location will be the new go-to for Gilbert residents as well as surrounding communities,” predicted Karen. “There is nothing like it around and that’s what drew us to The Verde.

“The new location at the Verde has an outdoor central park gathering space called ‘the green’ that will allow for outdoor brew fests, concerts and other special events.”

Verde at Cooley Station is a 23-acre commercial/residential project at Williams Field and Recker roads that could eventually see 2,000 new apartment units and 1,000 single-family homes as well as a variety of commercial enterprises.

Born in Florida in 2008, The Brass Tap has 30 locations, mostly in the Southeast, although it is gradually expanding westward. It already has one location in Arizona and company officials think the state has the potential to host 20 more.

Some locations feature almost 60 taps for craft beer, plus cocktails and a menu of elevated pub grub, such tempura-battered fish or chicken that uses local beer in the batter.

As owners of the Keller Williams Integrity First Real Estate franchise and Jesse Herfel Real Estate Group in Gilbert, the Herfels are no strangers to running their own business. 

The couple, who have been married 14 years and have three children, say running a restaurant business is really not that much different from running a real estate business in some crucial ways.

“We have both spent our careers in the real estate market where you have to exceed in customer service, customer experience and customer appreciation,” said Jesse. “That more than prepares us for this new venture.”

Realtors for 20 years, the Herfels’ addition of “restaurateur” to their resumes came from a sense that Gilbert was underserved when it came to quality bars and breweries.

And that’s why they say their venture is “not really a pivot but a way to add opportunity. We saw something that was lacking in our area and decided to bring it ourselves.”

They’re excited about being able to bring 20-30 jobs to Gilbert and have plenty of outdoor and indoor space for customers.

“We found the perfect fit for an underserved community,” Karen said. “With 60 craft beers on tap, craft cocktails and an amazing wine selection, we have something for everyone.”

The Herfels are now learning the trade, looking forward to pouring their first cold one for a customer.

“We have submerged ourselves in the process,” Karen said, “and cannot wait to be the community’s go-to bar/restaurant.”