The Americans are poised to overthrow the British yet again. But this time, the revolution is taking place at the Royal Hilltop, an English pub-style restaurant that Tina and James Pachorek opened in Aurora in 2002.
"We are changing it over from Aurora's first British pub to Aurora's first tap room," says Tina. "We're pulling all of our imports off, like Fuller's ESB, and will be carrying beers from Dogfish Head, Russian River, Ommegang, Avery, Great Divide, Boulevard" and some of America's other big craft brewers.
"When we first opened the Royal Hilltop, we were one of the first to carry Stella and Fuller's, but we feel like that's kind of run its course," Tina says. "We also feel that British pubs and Irish pubs have kind of gone away in some aspects."
Last summer, the Pachoreks opened their Westminster Cheeky Monk with an Old World bar carrying the Belgian brews that their Colfax location was famous for, along with a New World bar for rare and unusual U.S. craft beers, often Belgian-inspired.
They also turned some of their tap handles at their original location over to craft beers to take advantage of the rapidly increasing demand for them.
Now they feel like the demographic in Aurora is changing, too, especially in the area around the Royal Hilltop, which was hard hit by foreclosures in the past few years.
"Now it is recovering, and we feel like there is a whole new customer base that we need to tap into, a younger clientele," Tina's says, adding that some of the Royal Hilltop's regular customers -- who were reluctant to switch from Bud Light to Fuller's at the time -- have moved on to Dry Dock Brewing, the award-winning nearby craft brewer.
In addition to having eighteen handles of craft beer, she says the Royal Hilltop will also host Firkin Thursdays, with guest brewers like Wynkoop and Dry Dock, and pint nights.
To make the change -- which also includes a new look inside, a new logo and some intensive staff training -- the Royal Hilltop will shut down on Monday and Tuesday of next week. It will hold a grand reopening party on Friday, February 4.
"We are really nervous about it, but I think we can do it," she says. "We'll be one of the only places in Aurora where you can find Dogfish Head or Russian River on tap."
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