Gentle Ben's comes full circle with party for new bar

Sofia Moraga | The Daily Wildcat Gentle Ben's Brewing Company is one of the many restaurants along Main Gate Square in Tucson, Ariz.

One of Main Gate Square's most popular eateries would like to gently remind you of its grand re-opening party today. Gentle Ben’s Brewery, located at 865 E. University Blvd., will host the party to mark the completion of the first round of construction on its new downstairs bar. 

University of Arizona Eller College of Management graduate, veteran and current owner Richard Fifer and his business partners Russ Moore and Jennie Treusch are looking to expand the establishment so that it will benefit the surrounding community.

Gentle Ben’s Brewing Company located on University Boulevard sells a combination of beers named “Flight,” which includes different shades of beer and bitterness. All beers are brewed locally with their store, Barrio Brewing Co.

“The old bar wasn’t functioning,” Fifer said. “We wanted to update the look of Gentle Ben’s in order to keep up with the times. New look will be simple and clean.”

Fifer previously worked for Gentle Ben’s for nine years, starting as a busboy before working his way up and buying the establishment. Fifer, a former Marine, was up to the challenge.

“Only management experience I had was some military, that was it, but it worked out,” Fifer said. 

The downstairs bar has been under construction to put in a giant 360-degree bar. Fifer cited functionality as the driving motivation behind this two-phase remodel.  

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“You have more interaction with people across the way,” Fifer said. 

The two phases of the project include an indoor- and outdoor-phase. The outside portion of the 360-degree bar will be constructed by attaching the bar to an existing outdoor cement countertop, knocking down the current east  wall, and installing sliding glass windows on both the east and south sides of the bar. 

The later phase will make it so that customers can come up to the outdoor portion of the bar and order from bartenders located inside, behind the sliding glass windows.  

Gentle Ben's, a bar and grill on University Boulevard, is one of the top spots to watch sports games, including Arizona football and basketball games.

“This is going to be an epic two-part process,” Fifer said. “It is going to create a cool street presence with the outside bar area.”

Some of the first-phase progress is already on display, including new flooring and windows that will let in more natural light, according to Fifer.

And for those curious about what has been going on all summer at one of University Boulevards most visible watering-holes, Fifer said Gentle Ben’s will be throwing a party to mark completion of the first phase of construction.

“We will have a Grand Reopening party for the lower bar on Thursday, August 16. The inside will be complete at that point in time.”

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