CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- A local bar has created an atmosphere that they hope will be welcoming to military members, and it seems to be working.
"About 80% of our customer base is military and first responder," said Carlos Tovar, manager at Tactical Ops Brewing.
The bar near the intersection of Clovis Avenue and Barstow Avenue has been open for just over a year, and is an expansion from their taproom in East Central Fresno. Between both locations, the goal has been the same.
"It's slowly turned into a safe haven for veterans," Tovar said.
The beers are all brewed on site and are military themed, with options like Shrapnel IPA, Blonde Bomber and Recon Red. The decoration also stays with the military theme, featuring tap handles shaped like ammunition, shell casings that are used as game pieces, and military patches covering the walls.
"All the decorations on our walls are donated by customers, and it's from their experiences and their service in the military," he said.
Tovar says nearly everyone working behind the bar is military themselves, so customers often feel comfortable sharing their stories.
"We have all the same experiences. People come in and they're having a down day, we talk about our military life... it's kind of like Cheers. People come in and they get a little therapy sitting at the bar... they can talk to us about things because we experienced almost the exact same thing they experienced, maybe even worse," said Tovar, a Marine Corps veteran.
The bar also features a pay-it-forward program, where patrons buy a bottle cap and stick it on a board for new military or first responder customers.
"Then they take the cap, and they get a drink on whoever bought that bottlecap."
Tactical Ops Brewing is a Clovis bar run by veterans, for veterans