By Judi King Claybaugh
When Charlene “Charli” Hopewell saw dated real estate in a West Chandler strip mall, she knew she could work her magic.
For five months, she and her husband renovated the space that previously housed numerous bars. What emerged is the fresh, funky, nouveau décor Good Time Charli’s Neighborhood Craft Pub, which opened in September to a receptive crowd. Hopewell said regulars were shocked at the transformation.
“I wanted to give it an entirely new and upscale vibe,” she said. “We completely remodeled everything, including tearing down the ceilings, hand-painting the newly exposed ductwork and putting up wood and faux brick walls in order to create a chic urban, industrial look.”
The personal touches make the restaurant.
“We handmade the multihued wooden tables,” Hopewell said. “My husband designed and made all of the innovative light fixtures, such as the Mason jar hanging lamps and the cool liquor bottle lights and chandeliers.”
The 4,000-square-foot bar and restaurant is lively, featuring llive music, 36-hole Golden Tee Mecca and 21 televisions streaming sports channels.
“People come in to grab a bite to eat or have a drink, and end up staying for the fun,” Hopewell said. “We have musicians on the courtyard patio on Saturday afternoons, and live bands who perform on a raised stage above the dance floor most nights of the week.”
Hopewell is no stranger to the entertainment scene. She has been performing as a singer in the Valley for 17 years, the last four with Adrenaline, who regularly hits the stage during Sunday night jam sessions.
“I think part of the reason we have been successful right off the bat is that since I have performed in so many places around the Valley, I have become very good at promoting; I know the business pretty well,” she said. “I also get advice from my friend and business partner, Jolie Grant, who owns Jolie’s Place—another bar and grill in Chandler. I call her every time I have a question.”
Hopewell said that Good Time Charli’s theme is all about Arizona.
“We feature Arizona craft-brewed beer and wine on tap,” she said. “We also offer a wide selection of liquor that is made in Arizona, as well. And, we try and procure all of our food from valley vendors.”
A Scottsdale Culinary School graduate, chef Rod Owens has an impressive background, spending 13 years at Minder Binder. Owens creates all the recipes for the upscale bar food, including Southern corn fritters, a favorite from his home state of Alabama.
The extensive menu includes an assortment of appetizers ($7 to $14), specialty burgers made with a brisket-blend ($11 to $14), fish, pork and beef tacos ($3 each), sandwiches ($9 to $13), a variety of wings ($12 per dozen), bruschetta (4 for $8), salads ($6 to $12), soups ($3.50 to $6), rustic stone-fired pizza ($10 to $16) and scrumptious housemade desserts ($6).
Charli’s also serves up the daily deal, weekly features, game-day specials, Saturday and Sunday breakfast and happy hour seven days a week.
“We are hoping to make Charli’s like Cheers—a local bar where everyone knows your name,” Hopewell said. “Whether you come to eat, drink or play, it’s always a good time at Good Time Charli’s.”
6045 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler 85226