Real estate duo Karen and Jesse Herfel have recently signed to open a franchise location of The Brass Tap, a craft beer bar and restaurant, in the Verde at Cooley Station development in Gilbert by the end of 2021.

The couple have over 40 years of combined experience in the real estate business and are the owners of Keller Williams Integrity First Realty and The Jesse Herfel Real Estate Group in Gilbert.

Karen Herfel said their time working in real estate has prepared them to change gears into owning and operating a bar and restaurant. “To have the real estate business, you have to be client focused and customer focused one hundred percent … So for us — going into the restaurant industry — I feel like it’s just a natural transition,” she said. 

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Owning a restaurant and brewery is something the Herfels have always had an interest in, but they said the timing was right when they started looking for the ideal opportunity a few years ago. When they found The Brass Tap franchise, it was a good fit.

“We love the craft beer concept…but most of the breweries that we visit don’t offer a full selection of wine and cocktails. So to have them all in one spot was just a no brainer for us,” said Karen Herfel.

The Brass Tap is a craft beer bar and restaurant, serving 60 craft beers on tap and over 200 imports. Currently the only existing location in Arizona is in Mesa. Since its first location opened in Florida in 2008, The Tampa-based Brass Tap has now expanded to nearly 50 bars in 16 states.

The new Brass Tap location will be housed in Verde at Cooley Station, a mixed-use development slated to be completed in late 2021.The 23-acre development will be a “live-work-play” space that houses offices, retail, restaurants and residential spaces.

The Herfels felt the market in Gilbert was underserved for this type of venue and have many plans to get the most out of their new space. They plan to use their patio and the main outdoor space of the Verde, called the “green,” to host events such as beer festivals and other outdoor activities.

Karen Herfel said they look forward to being the “go to spot” in Gilbert, while creating a sense of community and supporting local vendors. “That’s what we’re most excited for – to have our own venue where we know everybody, people feel like they’re coming to hang out with family and just create some really awesome experiences and job opportunities,” she said.

The duo have also felt much support from the community at their real estate company, Keller Williams Integrity First Realty. “We house over 300 agents here,” said Karen Herfel. “People are super excited to come out and support us.”

The Herfels say their office has a large outreach through community service events they have done for years. Keller Williams Realty supports the community through KW Cares, a public charity that supports Keller Williams associates and their families with hardship as a result of a sudden emergency.

“So having The Brass Tap as an extension of what we’re already doing is just going to give us more opportunity to give back to the community. And that’s huge for us,” said Karen Herfel.

While the construction of Verde at Cooley Station continues throughout 2021, the couple are preparing for their own space by engaging with developers and going through The Brass Tap’s franchise training. “That’s what we’re really focused on now so that when they do deliver the building, everything is in place ready to go, so that we can get the doors open as timely as possible,” said Jesse Herfel.

The Brass Tap, along with the rest of the Verde at Cooley Station development, is scheduled to open in late 2021. The Herfels will be documenting the phases of development on their social media. Find them on Facebook or Instagram for updates.