Since opening in 2007, Boulders on Broadway’s popularity has exploded, and now the ultra-casual neighborhood bike/beer/bouldering bar has expanded to a new Mesa location, also aptly named for its location, Boulders on Southern.
Boulders on Southern, which opened mid-December, follows in Broadway’s footsteps with a Northern California cabin-themed interior, an outdoorsy feeling throughout and plenty of emphasis on its owners favorite pastime: rock climbing.
“I actually met Erick [Geryol] when I worked at a rock climbing gym,” says Justin Bucknell, managing partner of Boulders on Southern, of the restaurant’s owner. “He approached me a little over a year and a half ago to work on getting this location up and moving.”
In fact, the restaurant gets its name from “bouldering,” a form of rock climbing that is performed without using ropes or harnesses.
The two bonded over their love of the sport, their spirit of adventure and a penchant for a trend that was just picking up when the two men met a few years ago: craft beer.
For these two, craft beer and adventuring aren’t two mutually exclusive loves. In fact, they are often combined to form truly great memories—something that they hope their customers also experience.
For Bucknell and Geryol, memories are often topped off with a great craft beer. Whether they are celebrating a new climbing accomplishment or tasting the local beer at their most recent travel destination, the beer that they drink is tied to those memories and helps them relive them.
“I love the region-ality of craft beer,” Bucknell says. “Arizona beer brings back memories of the adventures I’ve had exploring this state. Our hope is to inspire and motivate others to adventure and make memories.”
Local beer will be a big focus at Boulders on Southern, too. From Four Peaks to SanTan to Grand Canyon and Historic Brewing Company, favorite local brews will be available from their 20 taps or 24 bottle rotating selection.
However, just because they’re touting their beer menu doesn’t mean you should have low expectations for their cuisine.
Start with an order of nachos, wings or artichoke dip. Then pick from the huge list of salads, sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, tacos, pizzas, stromboilis and calzones. Now that you’ve eaten, you can get back to drinking more beer.
The beer menu will rotate for several reasons. First of all, it opens up the possibility of carrying seasonal offerings, an important factor for craft beer lovers. It also furthers the education of those guests who want to learn more about the subject, something Bucknell and his team are looking forward to in their new location.
While the patrons of the Tempe location may be more educated about craft beer, the new Mesa location offers the Boulders team the possibility of helping even more people discover craft beer and learn everything they want to know in a relaxed and welcoming environment.
“Erick has always aspired to have a three-restaurant concept,” Bucknell says. “The Fiesta District in Mesa just screams for a neighborhood bar so it was the perfect place for our place.”
“I went to high school just down the road from this location, actually,” he says. “I know this area has seen its ups and downs, but what I really hope is that we’re able to give back to the city and be part of the revitalization of the Fiesta District. We really want to be that neighborhood bar with the relaxed environment that people want to be in.”
It appears that his wishes are coming true. The opening in mid-December allowed the kitchen and crew to get their feet underneath them before things got really crazy with all of the activity in town these days.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better opening,” Bucknell says. “All of the feedback that I’ve gotten is that people are very excited to have a clean, new neighborhood bar with good food.”
Now that things have found their rhythm, Boulders on Southern has planned for a grand opening with the Mesa Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, February 5. A ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration will follow.
Boulders on Southern, 1010 W. Southern Avenue, Mesa, 480.659.4816, bouldersonsouthern.com