Project Feature: Eagle Bay Patio Becomes Community Hub


Tradition Brewing’s got it all: great beer, fun events, and an amazing patio. However, the patio at Tradition Brewing has grown beyond just a place to enjoy a tasty beer with friends on a Saturday afternoon. It’s turned into a community hub for the Newport News area.

Tradition completely renovated a section of a larger building when moving into their space on Thimble Shoals Boulevard. Because they are located within a larger facility, their outdoor seating options were limited. So to make the most of their industrial real estate, they enlisted the help of Brian Gillespie of Ultimate Hardscapes and The Eagle Bay Design Studio.

It was important that the space be functional and welcoming, especially considering that it’s located in front of the brewery. “It’s unique because every single customer that comes to Tradition has to walk across the patio,” he says.

The Tradition Brewing team knew it was important to separate themselves from their neighbors in the industrial park. “We wanted to really break up the industrial space and create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere. I think the end design really nailed it,” says Andy Beale, General Manager of Tradition Brewing.

During the design phase, Gillespie enlisted the help of The Eagle Bay Design Studio. “The VizTerra fly-through was instrumental for a couple of reasons. First, it helped the team at Tradition really see our vision for the space. Secondly, when we presented the plans to the City, the fly-through made getting approved much easier,” Gillespie explains.

“The Eagle Bay Design Studio did an amazing job with the mock-ups on VizTerra. They were the only ones that did a 3-D design, and it really made their presentation stand out,” Beale states.

The team at Ultimate Hardscapes had a few more cards up their sleeves, too, and went the extra mile when finalizing the details. “It’s got a few hidden features that make it even more functional, without compromising the aesthetic,” Gillespie says. “The entire patio is sloped for ADA accessibility and there are inlays and lighting throughout the entire design. The coolest parts, however, are the fireplace and the seating arrangements.”

The patio’s location and size restrictions made choosing furniture for the space crucial since there was a risk of cluttering the area and reducing functionality. To fix this problem, Gillespie and his team came up with an ingenious solution and installed retaining walls that act as benches and columns that function as standing tables. While the brewery still provides additional outdoor furniture on busy days, the patio can function as a serving area without it.

The same ingenuity led to the creative installation of the natural gas Dublin See Through Fireplace. “We managed to hide the bollards for the fireplace inside the columns, which makes the whole patio look cleaner. This was easily the most challenging part of this job,” says Gillespie.

The result is a patio that’s aesthetically clean, accessible, and perfect for year-round use.

“Having a patio is huge. It totally changes the capability of the brewery. It’s a gathering place after work and we have friends and family on weekends; we have food trucks and a bounce house for kids,” says Beale.