After working in real estate in the East Valley for 27 years, Realtors Karen and Jesse Herfel felt it was time to diversify their investments with the recent influx of development in the area.
“There’s just nothing like this around here,” Karen said. “So we started looking into different concepts and we just fell in love with this [place] because of that.”
“This” is The Brass Tap, which the Herfels hope to be opening Dec. 12 at Verde at Cooley Station, 2442 S. Recker Road, Suite 101 – depending on supply chain issues that have slowed their construction timeable.
The Tampa-based craft beer bar and entertainment venue has become known for its extensive localized brewery offerings, specialty cocktails and premium wines and the Herfels’ pub is its second in Arizona.
That’s what Karen said attracted her to such a brand, with a full list of wines, cocktails, food fare and “all the craft beer that you can possibly imagine.”
“Everybody can get what they want at The Brass Tap,” Karen said.
Verde at Cooley Station sits on the corner of Williams Field and Recker roads in a high-density area, Karen said, with over 30,000 residences within walking distance.
With a robust roster of restaurants, bars and retail in development, Jesse said Verde at Cooley Station “is going to be the place to be.”
She also pointed to an empty lot that will eventually become a two-story, 24,000-square-foot office building.
As owners of Keller Williams Integrity First Real Estate franchise and Jesse Herfel Real Estate Group, the Herfels have an insider’s look at the local real estate market.
Increased mortgage interest rates have cut home sales by 35% year-over-year and prices have fallen only 4% in the last three months.
Both factors have caused homes to sit on the market longer, Jesse noted.
“However, unless you bought within the last 12 months here, the majority of homeowners have equity,” Jesse said. “So, it’s not a 2008-type scenario.”
With more than 3,500 units closed per year, the Herfels’ business is one of the top brokerages in the country.
Growing up on opposite sides of the Valley – Karen in Buckeye and Jesse in Queen Creek – the couple met through real estate business and have had three children during their 15 years of marriage.
Jesse entered real estate to avoid corporate America.explaining, “I loved real estate and the opportunities it provides, both in sales and a career, and then also from an investment standpoin.”
Karen didn’t want “a ceiling over my head” nor tie her worth to an hourly wage, as was the advice she received growing up.
“People were always telling you what your worth per hour,” Karen said. “And it was a career that I could determine that for myself.”
After stumbling on the land in 2020 that would become Cooley Station, the Herfels said it was a “no-brainer.”
“We’ve always been interested in doing a really kick ass bar,” Karen said. “And we’ve talked about it for years and then the timing just kind of worked out perfectly.”
Perhaps their timing wasn’t that perfect, considering they’ve had to wait nearly two years since signing their lease at the beginning of 2021, but the Herfels have the finish line to their dream in sight.
Tentatively, they plan to open on Dec. 12, but the couple remains flexible due to the recent supply and labor issues.
On Nov. 18, contractors were still hard at work installing the 60 draft taps and the 24 TVs planned for the wall remained outstanding.
But the Herfels said they will do their best to have 146 seats ready for customers to sit and enjoy a drink in the 3,100-square-foot 50/50 layout.
Large sliding doors divide the concept’s floorplan that takes advantage of the year-round Arizona sunshine so people can enjoy a drink inside the bar or outside on the patio.
Finding 45 employees to fill the positions for kitchen, servers and bartenders, came a little easier than completing construction of the building.
“I think that the staff that we have hired is attracted to the concept,” Karen said. “We’ve been really surprised at how well we’ve done with attracting staff here.”
With plans for 60 craft beers on tap at all times, a DJ playing music Thursday through Sunday and open seating, Karen said she’d like the vibe to make The Brass Tap become “Cheers in Gilbert.”
“This is a place where you’re going to come and hang out three or four days a week and everybody’s going to know everybody,” Karen said. “This is going to be the spot.”