Episode 122: Lovecraft

A tad bit west of 32nd Street, off of Cactus, you will find a bar that at least from the outside may not strike you as…well…a bar.

But make no mistake, Lovecraft is not only a bar, but one where you will find a delicious selection of beers on draft and in the fridge.

Rebecca Golden, you might remember from the popular 32 Shea, told TapThatAZ that after a little less than 7 years there, she realized it was time to move on.

“I literally gave it all that I had to give, and it was a good time to sell,” she said. “So I sold it and cried from joy.

“That’s crazy because a lot of people don’t know why I sold it.”

Golden said she needed a break, but she could not mentally or emotionally get away. So, 32 Shea got to a point where it was rolling and a highlight of the neighborhood, she knew it was time to move on.

The business sold, she took a break. Nothing was on the docket, which for someone who worked as hard as she did was a well-earned vacation. Golden said she never really planned on getting back into the industry, but at the same time always wanted to open a beer bar.

That was always in the back of her mind, which meant she was never quite done. Finding the place for her new venture was a challenge, especially since she couldn’t put a bar in one of the nice locations near her old stomping grounds.

Then one day when she was on her way to Home Depot she saw a “For Lease” sign on a building that used to be home to a struggling BBQ joint. The owners of 32 Shea weren’t interest in teaming up, so with some assistance from her boyfriend, Golden went ahead and created a beer bar in a part of town that she would like to help improve in part because it’s where she lives.

“At the end of the day I’m a creative and I’m an optimistic pessimist,” Golden said of putting a beer bar in a part of town that many believe cannot – or will not – support one. “I always see opportunity in things and it’s really hard for me to see things that I think can work...and not at least try.”

That’s not to say she is sure Lovecraft will be a hit – after all, nothing is guaranteed. Having more than  100 craft beers available, 31 of which come courtesy of rotating taps, should help.

Then, there’s the food.

“Originally even though we were going to have a beer bar – we were a beer bar, first and foremost – I knew we needed to have food,” she said.

That realization came from visiting other beer bars who were missing out due to not offering food. Given that Lovecraft was moving into a former BBQ restaurant and it made sense to offer something.

Given that Golden grew up in New Mexico, BBQ was not exactly something she was familiar with. About a week and half before Lovecraft opened, a chef friend of hers suggested making New Mexico fare.

After sleeping on it, a menu was born.

“I wake up and I’m like, ‘this is genius,’” she said. “New Mexican food, I know, it’s amazing. It goes well with smoked meats and nobody else is doing this.”

At least, she said, you couldn’t find the BBQ/New Mexican fusion, and once that epiphany came the rest of it came together pretty quickly. Stop in and you will get to enjoy appetizers like Green Chile Blanco Queso Dip, Creamy Green Chile Mac-N-Cheese or Frijoles. You also have a choice of customized tapas.

Delicious beer and a unique menu? That makes sense for a place called Lovecraft.

You can be forgiven if you think that would be the name for a sex shop. In fact, at one point the sign out front made sure to point out that it’s not a place for that. 

“I didn’t come up with it,” Golden said, before with a chuckle calling out her boyfriend Ryan as being the responsible party. Of course, she admitted she was fond of the name “High Jolly” which you’ll probably need to Google to understand.

At any rate, she was outvoted and now says she likes the name Lovecraft because the point of the place is that “we get to support everything craft.”

The food, beer, wine, mead and cider. Everything.

“This, I get to support all those people who took the leap, who took the jump, who did something that was scary or whatever and decided to open whatever that thing was,” she said, likening it to her own risk in opening the bar. “And I get to be the person who supports that.

“And I think that’s super rad. I love being a craft beer bar, or a craft bar. So for the love of everything craft.”



Publish Date: 5/8/2019




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