Longtime customers take over Union Barrel Works

By on August 1, 2018

Photos by Lancaster Online
The new sign for Union Barrel Works

When Grant and Chasy Fronheiser became regulars at Union Barrel Works in Reamstown about ten years ago, they had no idea that they would one day be the owners of the establishment. The brewpub, located at 6 N. Reamstown Rd., opened in 2007 and is a community favorite.

Over the years, the Reinholds couple built a relationship with the original owners, Tom and Amy Rupp. When the Fronheisers’ daughter, Kylin, was born seven years ago, they often brought her along as a newborn to get meals at Union Barrel Works.

Photo by Lancaster Online
Grant and Chasy with Kylin in Union Barrel Works

“Grant has always been interested in the brewing process,” Chasy said. “He mentioned to Tom that we were considering opening up our own place one day. Tom said, ‘Why don’t you just buy this place?'”

Grant began working in the kitchen and Chasy started working in the front so that they could experience all aspects of the restaurant prior to the change in ownership. Then, in mid-July, Grant and Chasy assumed their roles as the new owners of Union Barrel Works and Tom agreed to stay on staff as an informal consultant, due to his experience and expertise in the business.

“It was a smooth transition,” Chasy said. “It closed on a Sunday, and was closed on Monday — as usual — and when it opened on Tuesday, it was ours.”

Since becoming the owners, Grant and Chasy are creating new ways to add a personal touch to Union Barrel Works, while maintaining the classic flair that locals love. Popular beers are all brewed in-house and all the menu favorites — such as fish and chips and the prime rib cheesesteak — will remain available, but there are new additions, like shrimp and grits and hummus. There is also a kids’ menu, named Kylin’s Korner, after the Fronheisers’ daughter. The kids’ menu will offer breaded shrimp, French fries, nachos, and other favorites. There will also be a new selection of beers, including batches of India pale ale, fruit beers, and hard cider. Typically, the brewpub offers 12 beers on tap.

“We want to be family friendly,” Chasy said. “Not a bar. We want to be a family restaurant that sells good food and good beer.”

The Fronheisers are planning an informal “re-launch” of the restaurant on Aug. 18, which will feature live music from Duane Slaymaker. In the future, there will be more evenings of live music at Union Barrel Works, said Chasy.

For now, the Fronheisers are focusing on small batch brewing but eventually, they plan to start bottling their beer. Grant, a firefighter at York Area United Fire and Rescue, has dabbled in home brewing before. Chasy has served as a banquet waitress and currently works for a property manager. The couple has had their own business before, so they are not oblivious to running a restaurant. They hope that Union Barrel Works will continue to be a respected place in the community.

“We want everyone to know they’re welcome here,” Chasy said. “We want to know the faces and the names of our guests. Bring your families.”

Grant and Chasy have received positive feedback on their cosmetic changes such as new window decals and a new sign.

“People who haven’t been in years are returning, and regulars keep coming,” Chasy said.

Hours of operation have changed. Monday through Wednesday, the hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, it is 12 to 10 p.m. Sunday is 12 to 8 p.m.

For more information or to see a menu, visit unionbarrelworks.com or find them on Facebook at Union Barrel Works Brewery. There is also a web app available.

Aubree Fahringer is a staff writer for the Ephrata Review. She can be contacted at afahringer@lnpnews.com.

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