Tucson contractor turned cider maker Don Rabino is opening Bawker Bawker cider house next spring on the corner of North Fourth Avenue and East Seventh Street. This is how he plans for it to look when construction is complete. 

Back in the early 1990s, dairy farms sold their eggs, cheese and milk from an open market on North Fourth Avenue known simply as Corner of Fourth and Seventh.

Next spring, that historic corner will add a little more history to the avenue when Don Rubino opens Tucson's first cider house at 400 N. Fourth Ave.

Bawker Bawker — named after the sound chickens make — will serve 10 taps of hard cider, from semi-sweet and semi-dry to creative variations including a light cucumber melon and prickly pear. Rubino also will have another 10 taps devoted to craft beer from Tucson brewers and eight designated for non-alcoholic housemade soft drinks including orange cream, ginger and berry. 

Owner and cider maker Rubino is hoping to begin a buildout of the 3,200-square-foot space once he gets the requisite city permits, which could come this week. Rubino, who has done construction and residential remodeling for 26 years —  19 with his Tucson company Wall and Floors For You — is doing the work.

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Sneak Peak of our building before our neighborhood meeting.

A post shared by Bawker Bawker cider (@bawkerbawkercider) on

Rubino said he has been contemplating opening a cider house since 2014, the year he left a brewery partnership that he had been involved in from its inception. He would not name the brewery, but said that after several years of brewing beer, he had decided to switch gears to cider.

"All along I've enjoyed cider. It's light. It's refreshing. I made some heavier stouts and what not while I was with the brewery and I wanted options for lighter things to drink," he said. 

Hard cider is made from fermented apples and as such is licensed as a winery given its connection to fruit. Rubino said his ciders have an alcohol content of  4 to 7.5 percent.

The building at 400 N. Fourth originally opened as a TV repair shop in 1959 and has been home to retail stores selling everything from Western wear to jewelry and art. The last occupant was artist Olivia Ramirez's folk art shop Olytata, which is now an online business (facebook.com/olytata). Ramirez also sets up booths at fairs and festivals locally and out of state, including in Las Vegas.

Rubino said hopes to be open in time for the Fourth Avenue Street Fair's spring event next March.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@tucson.com or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch

Cathalena has covered music for the Star for the past 20 years. She's a graduate of Arizona State University has worked at Sedona Red Rock News, Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, New York; and USA Today.