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Chafic Dada and Tommy Caprelian met at a Visalia craft beer event in 2013. Chafic was part of a Visalia family that had opened three Mediterranean restaurants that all featured craft beer. Tommy was from Sanger and had just started making beer commercially—in fact, this was the first event he had brought his beer to.
The two entrepreneurs quickly decided that someday they would partner together on a venture that would combine both of their concepts.
The Dada family had opened Pita Kabob in an old car mechanic shop in downtown Visalia. They were developing a style of Mediterranean food that was an incredible mash-up of traditional pub food with a Lebanese twist (or is it the other way around?). They’d come a long way from the original 1,000 square foot deli that Chafic’s parents had started. His mom began cooking authentic food at home and bringing it to the deli on Fridays. This became so popular they built a commercial kitchen and never looked back.
Tommy Caprelian and House of Pendragon are both products of Sanger. He started his path toward making beer in 2006 and expanded to a brew pub in Clovis, a tasting room at his brewery in Sanger, and now the partnership with HoP PK (this stands for House of Pendragon and Pita Kabob). Prior to opening his own brewery, he worked as the Assistant Brewmaster and was in charge of Quality Control for Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. Good breweries always produce great alumni, who continue to grow the craft beer scene. The folks at Tioga-Sequoia are proud of Tommy’s success and they partner together often.
HoP PK is located at 820 Van Ness Ave., across from the Spiral Parking Garage. The interior of the restaurant is completely renovated. There is a wonderful wood sculpture of many of downtown Fresno’s iconic buildings. There are comfortable booths, or you can sit at the bar or one of the long community tables. They also have a second floor that can accommodate up to 100 people for private events and parties.
Although HoP PK features House of Pendragon beer, they also have other local beers as well as interesting beers from throughout the west coast. They have specialty beers like sours and saisons, alongside dark beers, lighter pilsners, and lagers. There are 32 taps and you can order a flight of House of Pendragon beer to find the one that you love.
The food is incredible. Chafic has a great way of designing a menu to match the wide variety of craft beers. He spends much of his time in the kitchen to make sure that the quality stays high.
The Shawarma Fries are a huge hit. I’m a big fan of the Jerusalem Falafel Pita Wrap. The Mediterranean Flatbread is so good you’ll finish the whole thing in one sitting. And their Pita Chips with either Cilantro-Jalapeño Hummus or Garlic Dip are fresh and delicious, and will be perfect for a casual time sitting at the bar. Finish the night with some baklava—I love the pistachio option.
Along with the traditional choices of lamb, beef and chicken, they also feature vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. They have wine, too!
HoP PK is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (later on ArtHop nights—which is this Thursday!), and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight (kitchen closes at 10 p.m.). They are now open on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.