The Doghouse Tap Room should be coming soon to the former Sahlstrom and Yockey accounting building at 2723 Central Avenue in Ceres.

The Ceres Planning Commission last week voted 5-0 to approve a Conditional Use Permit to remodel the existing 1,368-square-foot block building into a taproom with outdoor seating and a courtyard just a stone’s throw from Highway 99 and the back of Valley Christian Center.

Commercial projects which serve alcohol require approval of a CUP.

The building, which dates back to 1946 and has been used for a number of commercial uses, has been vacant since Sahlstrom and Yockey closed. The building is owned by Shane Parson. Applicant Randy Beard of Modesto intends to change the façade on the front facing Central Avenue by adding a tower like feature that includes an awning and storefront door with decorative foam trim and pop-outs on the front elevation facing Central Avenue. Beard also plans to add an outdoor seating area and courtyard to the east and west ends, separated by wrought iron fencing and plant new landscaping along the front and along El Camino Avenue. He also wants to bring in a food truck during normal business hours.

The “Doghouse” name is not necessarily a reference to Ceres High School with its Bulldog mascot located blocks to the north, said Community Development Director Tom Westbrook, but is indicative that the business will allow pets.

“He’s looking to have local breweries on tap, hopefully having some type of food truck that could be there to provide some food,” said Westbrook. “If you want to bring your dog to hang out with you while you have a local craft beer, I guess you can. That’s a concept I’ve seen in other parts of the country.” 

The tap room is proposed to stay open six days per week (closed Mondays) as follows:  3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Should any problems arise from those hours, the Planning Commission could be asked to adjust them.