Hail Fare Thee Well to Any Hale’s in Bremerton, at Least for Now

By Rachel Pritchett

Bury those rumors that craft beer king Mike Hale is going to open an alehouse in downtown Bremerton.
It’s not going to happen, at least now.
Talks to lure the affable Hale of Hale’s Ales Brewery of Seattle to downtown Bremerton had apparently been humming along earlier this year. In February, Hale told me that those on the other side of the table were “making it kind of hard to say no.”
I was unable to pin down the exact location. Some told me it was in the old Penney’s building. Others said it was in the about-to-open Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott. Still others thought the location was in a building at Pacific Avenue and Second Street that years ago was the former Westsound Bank headquarters.
That building — with the tall, draped windows — turned out to be the site.
Mike Hale told me this week he’s pulling out of the Bremerton negotiations.
“Just way too much to get done trying to open two places at the same time,” he stated in an e-mail.
I don’t blame Hale; the pub he’s building now at the north end of Kitsap Mall is top of the line, and is going to change the entire character of that immediate area for good.
I can imagine it’s taking a toll on all kinds of his resources to do that project right. When it opens this summer, the new Hale’s Alehouse will cover 7,900 square feet and have a staff of 80 — no small feat.
But I also could see how Hale could have had a healthy interest in that particular downtown Bremerton location. Every day when the shipyard lets out, there Hale’s would be, mouth open like a whale ready to suck up the krill.
I don’t believe the small new brewpub that just opened in Manette, Der Blokken Brewery, had anything to do with Hale’s decision.
But something still could happen with the former Westsound building. How about a restaurant?
With Hale out of the picture, talks now are under way between Ron Sher, managing partner of Third Place Company, and the city for Sher to purchase the building. And who knows, maybe a restaurant in that space could follow. At least that’s one scenario. Sher owns the former J.C. Penney building nearby.
“We are looking at the old Westsound Bank building,” Karen True, Third Place spokeswoman, said late Friday of any potential purchase.
“We’re really interested; there’s no deal yet,” she said.
The sale, if it goes easy, could be finalized by June.
And don’t rule out a Hale’s in downtown Bremerton sometime in the future.
“We still plan to explore opportunities in downtown Bremerton after Silverdale is established,” Hale wrote.

One thought on “Hail Fare Thee Well to Any Hale’s in Bremerton, at Least for Now

  1. No, it was the KCCHA working with the PSRC facilitating the involvement of the POB so the County Commissioners could borrow the funds to pay for the study. I think. Maybe that was something else entirely. What was the question? Squirrel!
    Roger Gay
    South Kitsap

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