A resurrected church in Old Town Cottonwood has reincarnated into a fully renovated multi-destination 7,000 sq. ft. dining and drinking facility, bringing new life to the city's renowned restaurant and cultural corridor.
Aptly called "The Belfry," this wood-fired grill and brewery located at the entrance to the Old Town Cottonwood's entertainment district promises to add even more luster to the popular section of Cottonwood.
Old Town Cottonwood features excellent restaurants, wine tasting rooms, live music, shops and art galleries and is a tourist destination like nearby Sedona.
For Belfry owner Chef Robert Conlin, converting the old abandoned church known to locals through the years as "The Green Church on the Corner" was a goal he harbored for years.
"As a lifelong local, bringing the old church building back to life and creating a gathering place for the people of Cottonwood has been a dream of mine since I got into the hospitality business with Bobby D's BBQ in Jerome," he said. "We bought the building from the City of Cottonwood in 2013 and saved it from demolition. It took seven long years to bring the project to life, but we persevered."
The church had been a gathering place for Old Town Cottonwood since the 1920s.
According to Chef Conlin, you could hear the church bell ringing across the town, calling people together back in the past.
"We thought it was fitting that we could share our love of food, drink and good company in this grand old building at the heart of Cottonwood," he said.
His dream was accomplished when the Belfry opened on October 1, 2020.
The restaurant added some new spaces, like a beer garden for a casual drink with friends, a taproom for sampling their signature brews, and an upscale dining room with a full bar and Chef Bobby D's legendary wood-fired cuisine.
They also lovingly restored many of the building's historic features—most notably the belfry, where a new bell once again rings to bring travelers and friends home.
Part of the Belfry's outreach to customers includes a daily ringing of the new bell at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to alert people to come in and have half-off on a pint of beer, if they are there at least 5 minutes prior or within 5 minutes after the bell is rung.
The restaurant is divided into two stories.
The upstairs Grand Dining Hall features elegant decor, custom cocktails, craft beer and an upscale New American wood-fired grill.
Signature dishes are accompanied by freshly-brewed craft beer with 16 different house brews on tap and custom craft cocktail menus along with mouth-watering, wood-fired steaks, chops, steak burgers (with vegan and vegetarian options) as well as an array of amazing "Gastropub" share plates.
You can even take some fresh beer to-go!
Outside of the Great Hall, there are two separate patios where people can socialize, eat, drink and maintain social distancing.
The downstairs area showcases the Belfry Brewery, where the beer is brewed in real-time in gleaming metal vats. There is an outdoor beer garden with arcades and eight TV's playing all the sports games.
And let's not forget the live music featured every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the beer garden throughout the year.
There are daily rotating lunch specials that change monthly and different dinner specials each night of the week. Not to be missed are the signature Friday night fish fry and the Saturday night Prime Rib.
The Wood Fired Grill opens Sunday thru Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. -- Friday and
Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Tap Bar is open Monday thru Thursday from 12 to 9 p.m. -- Friday and Saturday, from noon to midnight. Open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
People are "confessing" that the Belfry is one of the hottest spots for good food, fun and good cheer in Old Town Cottonwood.
Playing off the quip, Chef Conlin mused -- "Opening a large restaurant and brewery during the year 2020 – yeah. We've definitely got bats in the Belfry!"
He remains grateful for the support of the community during the Covid19 crisis.
"From our family to yours, thank you so much for such a wonderful welcome into Old Town during these trying times," he said. "Cheers!"
The Belfry is located at 791 N. Main Street, Cottonwood AZ • 928-239-4595 • BelfryBrewery.com