Craft brewers opening Thr3e Punk Ales in old Highlander building in Chula Vista

Posted at 8:30 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 01:58:56-04

Some local craft brewers are turning an old department store into their first brewery. The City of Chula Vista hopes Thr3e Punk Ales will become an anchor for revitalization of the historic Third Avenue.

The guys just need to clean out some spooky rooms that include a questionable pole and stage with performance lighting.

Thr3e Punk Ales signed a ten-year lease for the old Highlander building, which used to sell high-end men’s suits decades ago. They’re gutting the building to install a brewery and tasting room, which would be the first brewery on Third.

“Forty-nine people; that’s how many patrons we’d like to have in on any given day,” said Steve Garcia, who was raised and still lives nearby.

“Everyone’s been saying Chula could be the next South Park. They could be the next North Park,” said brew master Kevin Lewis.

Their work has just begun on the building.

“It’s not easy. It’s not fun,” said Garcia. That's because the building needs a lot of work, especially in the creepy basement.

“I don’t know what it was at one point with a stage, a pole, and some overhead lighting but I’ll leave that up to your imagination,” he said about a basement room with some questionable features.

The walls also hold their own mysteries.

“There’s a lot of little nooks and crannies in this building, a lot of secret rooms” that are now walled up.

The brewers, which also includes third founder John Marshall, hope to open their brewery this fall.

“This is probably the most scared, excited, nervous, everything, a casserole of emotions, but I think we’re doing what we were meant to do,” said Garcia.