Tirebiter opens doors to USC community

Tirebiter team · (Left to right)Angela Webb-Pigg, Dagmar Gudmundsson, Isabelle Bednorz, Hayley Thomas and Jake Belabin run the new restaurant. (Photo by Saul Rubin)

Run by the same family enterprise that feeds stacks of pancakes to hungry students at Jacks N Joe next door, Tirebiter Brewery celebrated its grand opening this past weekend. 

“We pretty much just made the place we would want to go to,” said Dagmar Gudmundsson, a USC alumnus and Tirebiter’s assistant manager. Isabelle Bednorz, the co-owner of the brewery, concurred. 

“We can’t have everyone over at our house, but we can create this place and invite all our friends [and] family,” Bednorz said.

The brewery is set in an enclave just to the right of Jacks N Joe, which can make it hard to find, but Mark Bednorz, Isabelle’s father and a co-owner of Tirebiter along with his wife Vianney, sees that as a positive.

“It’s like an oasis away from the city. You don’t hear traffic. There’s no cars going by,” Mark Bednorz said.

Enclosed by buildings on all sides, Tirebiter houses a full brewery that sits out in the open behind the bar as a projector constantly runs, screening everything from old black-and-white films to the NBA Finals.

But Tirebiter isn’t just a place to hang out and talk. Unlike a lot of the other bars and restaurants around campus, it presents live music on a small stage inside the brewery.

The grand opening  featured a performance by Charlie Lubeck, a contender on the second season of Oxygen’s “The Glee Project,” playing upbeat music with his guitar. On Saturday night, Thornton School of Music student Thaddeus Scherer  continued the festivities with an acoustic set. Afterward, David Ayscue & Friends — also a USC Thornton alumnus-led band -— closed out the night with a funky setlist delivered to a packed house.

Rather than spend on advertising, Tirebiter spends money on paying musicians for performing in their space. To bring in customers, they hope to foster the same organic word-of-mouth publicity that made Jacks N Joe a local hot spot.

“My best advertisement is you going and being like ‘oh my god’ and telling somebody ‘I had the most amazing whatever,’” Vianney Bednorz said. “And then you bring them in, or they come in because you told them.” 

Attesting to this strategy is the fact that Tirebiter already has some regular customers who have come by at least three or four times, even though the brewery held its soft opening only two weeks ago. The family explained that the brewery itself is “handcrafted,” with the family and team pitching in long hours to put the place together. 

 “It’s just family. Maybe that’s the word for it.” Isabelle Bednorz said. “It is made with love.”

“[Both] the beer and the place,” Vianney Bednorz added.