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If honesty is the best policy to raise funds, then Ornery Beer Company & Public House founder Randy Barnette’s openness about failure should catapult his Kickstarter beyond the $15,000 goal.
In 2015, Ornery opened a 12,000-square-foot brewpub in Woodbridge with a rent of almost $24,000 dollars a month. The business paid what it could, tried to negotiate reducing the size of the space and the rent, but it didn’t work.
“Yep, I overcommitted,” is what Barnette writes on Ornery’s Kickstarter page. And then: “Now it’s time to commit to you: We have set up our new location and structure to assure we will succeed.”
Barnette, who’s owned restaurants since the 1990s, is at it again. The plan is to open Ornery in Fairfax with a three-barrel pilot system and a full-service restaurant (and a smaller footprint, about 60 percent of what it was, and a less expensive lease), plus a production facility in Bristow with plans for distribution of wholesale kegs and canning. Eventually, the Bristow location will also feature a taproom.
Even if the crowdfunding doesn’t come through—with less than a month left there’s still $11,500 to raise—Barnette says he is bringing on enough investors to open in the former space of The Green Turtle by the end of the year.
Fans of Ornery should expect a similar vibe. “We believe our model was exactly right,” says Barnette, referring to the guest experience. Head Brewer Ferdinand McAdoo will return, as will its signature slate of beers, including Pacific Waves, Light of Cologne and Dark Seduction. The food menu will also stay the same with pork belly bites, housemade pretzels and jagerschnitzel.
And, writes Barnette on the Kickstarter page, “With our new structure of the remotely located production brewery, our plans are to have a couple brewpubs in the area supplied by the production brewery,” including another try in Woodbridge. // Ornery Beer Company & Public House: 3950 University Drive, Fairfax