By Judi King Claybaugh
The Perch Pub and Brewery just might be the most interesting brewpub in the Valley.
The restaurant is quartered in downtown Chandler’s former Olde Time Market Square, a compound of 1960s-era homes that had been converted into a cluster of small shops and cafes. The Perch didn’t skimp on maintaining that charm and nostalgia. Partners Rebecca Lavenue and Sue Sechrest and their team, restored and renovated the property using reclaimed brick and wood from the original buildings at the site. Even the tree stumps were repurposed to create game tabletops and seats, and an unusual bathroom sink pedestal.
The Perch is a vibrant blend of courtyard and garden patio dining areas with flowering tree canopies overhead, a beer-garden game area, indoor dining and bar options, a rooftop patio and birdwatching.
The aviary at the entrance houses between 80 and 100 colorful and entertaining rescue birds including Amazon parrots, macaws and a dancing cockatoo named Luna. It perfectly sets the stage for The Perch’s lush tropical ambience. Guests can enjoy the birdwatching while dining on the brick-floored garden courtyard patio or from the adjoining beer garden which features tabletop games, corn hole and a giant Jenga game.
The rooftop patio, aptly named “the perch,” comes alive at night. Open at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, the patio is the perfect venue for relaxing with friends and taking in the dazzling panoramic bird’s-eye view of downtown. The rooftop seats 60 with its cozy couches and clusters of high tops, and has a stage for musicians who perform Thursday through Saturday evenings. At 9 a.m. Saturdays, the area is home to “Yoga on the Roof.” For $20, morning guests can join the one-hour yoga class and then enjoy their choice of beer, mimosa or cocktail.
Along with a full wine and craft cocktail bar, The Perch brews beer in its three-barrel brewhouse operated by Brett Waters and Nick Softanac. The men enjoy experimenting with flavors.
“Our brews are hop friendly,” Softanac said. “We try and bring out fresh and interesting flavors. For instance, with our fruit beers we use fresh fruit, never extracts, so we can have total control over our product quality.”
The Perch boasts 40 beers on tap downstairs—and an additional 10-tap on the rooftop bar—with a rotating selection of 20 to 30 house-brewed favorites. The Perch’s most popular brewed ales are the Belgium peach, blond batch 28, bird bath I.P.A. and the purple hooter made with fresh raspberries and blueberries.
The brewery theme is carried over into the food. The house specialties often incorporate The Perch’s and other craft beers into their dishes, such as the brick oven-fired pizza made with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in the crust, beer cheese soups and beer-marinated pork shanks. For a surprising dessert, the Perch offers a beer-infused ice cream flavor of the week.
The Perch features upscale, modern craft food made fresh daily. The extensive menu includes an appetizer section with wings, strips, dips and boards to share ($8 to $22), brunch ($8 to $16), soups and salads ($4 to $14), sandwiches and lunch specials ($10 to $16), pizza ($12 to $16), the night owl ($12 to $22) and a kid’s menu ($6 to $7).
There are suggestions in the different menu sections which are highlighted as “our choice” and include intriguing items such as the house-smoked prime rib on a French roll ($16), green chile, beer-braised pork pizza ($14) and a brick oven tamale with carnitas or grilled chicken, poblano hash and fried egg ($16). Many entrees are served with The Perch’s popular house-made tater tots, which can also be ordered in flavors such as bacon and beer cheese and jalapeno with marmalade, to name a few. The tots are fun—and seriously addictive.
The Perch has something for everyone. Come for the fun, the food, the brew and the view. And, don’t forget about the kids. It is a perfect place for the little ones who will like the winding brick paths leading to checkerboard tree stumps, outdoor games and, of course, the colorful, sometimes sassy and always entertaining birds.