Oak Park brewery, restaurant eyes 2014 opening – Sacramento Business J…

Tom Karvonen expects to open the Oak Park Brewing Co. and adjoining Thirsty Fork restaurant in early 2014.

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Tom Karvonen

Tom Karvonen expects to open the Oak Park Brewing Co. and adjoining Thirsty Fork restaurant in early 2014.

The Oak Park Brewing Co. and The Thirsty Fork restaurant are on track to open on Broadway early next year.

Christopher Davis-Murai will run the restaurant side of the business with seating for 50 inside and seating for 70 outside of the 3,400-square-foot brick building at 3514 Broadway. Davis-Murai is a seasoned personal chef and was the guy behind the Bicycle Chef in midtown and East Sacramento.

The restaurant will have a glass wall that looks into the brewing operation, which will be run by Tom Karvonen. Karvonen started brewing beer with friends at home five years ago, after testing many recipes, he was putting out what he thought were some pretty good brews. That was confirmed after his English and Belgian ales began winning ribbons at beer competitions.

He now owns a seven-barrel system, which is large enough to make batches of 14 kegs at a time.

With timely approvals from the city and the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control, Karvonen hopes to be able to start brewing in January, which means he can get some brews ready for Sacramento Beer Week at the end of February.

At the start, the brewery will supply just the restaurant, but eventually he intends to supply kegs to other bars and restaurants, and then eventually start bottling.

On the restaurant side, Davis-Murai plans to have a menu that has a “mix of world cuisines with a European flair” and he also plans to have game on the menu. He will be developing dishes that pair with the ales made by Karvonen.

He’s been looking for a place for The Thirsty Fork for several years, but he had trouble finding the right space. Midtown and downtown have gotten too expensive, and Oak Park is on an upswing he said.

Mark Anderson covers technology, banking and finance, medtech and biotech, venture capital, energy, mining, hotels, restaurants and tourism for the Sacramento Business Journal.

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