It’s finally happening in Hermosa where Right Bee Cider on Thursday afternoon will unveil its new taproom. Right Bee is the city’s first cidery and ownership has long wanted a tasting room to bring friends and family together so they could sample fresh ciders and draft cocktails. Customers can do that starting at 4 p.m. today at 1830 N. Kostner Avenue.
Founders Charlie Davis and Katie Morgan took a very DIY approach to the space. Davis built the room’s 10 tables, menu chalkboard, and shelving. That’s why Morgan, his wife, called the taproom “a labor of love.” There’s an L-shaped bar with seven stools and eight taps. Six will be for ciders. In the next few weeks, they’ll add draft cider cocktails. Eventually, they’ll also infuse flavors an offer special ciders using a firkin. There’s room for about 50 inside.
“It’s a mom and pop shop and it’s always going to be like that,” Davis said.
Customers will find Right Bee’s flagship trio of ciders: dri, semi-dry, and blossom. They’ll come in three sizes. Flights aren’t on the menu, but customers can assemble their own series of samples. The three other ciders on draft will be rotating specials. There’s a blueberry made with fruit from the Logan Square farmer’s market. There’s also lime and melon. Davis wants to experiment. Right now, there’s a few ciders again in Koval barrels on the production side next door. Perhaps they’ll release that on July 27 when Right Bee hosts its housewarming party. Another special is a rosé that’s available only at the taproom and at the Game Room inside the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel in the Loop. Guest beers will be available in bottles. Right now it’s Metropolitan and Alarmist.
Morgan wanted to begin hosting customers before the space was fully finished, to give them a taste. They’re still decorating. They want to line the walls with pictures of friends and family. They may have a Polaroid camera in the taproom so customers can take their own pictures and post them on their wall. A real wall, not a Facebook wall. Though, wifi will be available.
“We want to get our feet wet and make sure we know what we need for our taproom,” Morgan said.
As far as food, customers can order from Rica Arepa, an acclaimed Venezuelan restaurant nearby. Right Bee uses 2nd Kitchen, a delivery service for bars and other spots without kitchens. Customers will have to scan a QR code at their table with their phones to order. Patrons are free bring in their own food, too.
The space is also dog- and child-friendly. That was important for ownership. They have a 14 month old named Leo. Right Bee joins other cider specialists including Eris Cider House and Brewery in Irving Park and the Northman in North Center.
Davis and Morgan want to create a comfy neighborhood hangout. Customers can check it out starting today when Right Bee Cider opens its taproom. Six packs and cider vinegars made next door will also be available, as will merchandise including glasses.
Right Bee Cider, 1830 N. Kostner Avenue, inaugural hours are 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday; 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Regular hours not yet available.