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Thread: buying a bar and turning into brew pub...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Denver, Co.

    buying a bar and turning into brew pub...

    Has anyone had any luck buying a bar and turning it into a brewery? I'm thinking about buying an existing bar and turning it into a brew pub. Slowly replace that taps with my own beer. Any one have any any luck doing this? Anyone see any major flaws in the plan?

    I'm thinking I could use the revenue from the bar to keep the brewery going until my beer catches on. I could remain flexible to dial in the recipes to find what consumers really want. Eventually selling all my own beer. The idea would be to minimize the risk of opening a place and not being able to get in the market. Are there some good examples of people that have done this?

    Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    We are doing this right now!

    6 months ago, we purchased an existing pizza restaurant with a bar area having a full beer and liquor license South of Nashville TN. The restaurant has continued to operate as taken over, all planning and permitting for brewing additions have been submitted and permit approvals are anticipated in the next few days.
    A 7 BBL system has been purchased from Rob at Premier Stainless and building bids are in. The bar will be remodelled to accomodate the changes pretty soon. Our experiences (good or bad!) may be of interest to you as we progress. PM me and we can establish direct contact. Mike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Liberty ME. USA
    I'm assuming you have a proficient brewer on board that can brew the styles that you want. From there it is up to you to sell them to your customers. I recommend that you shoulder the responsibility to bring your beer forward and not pass it off to someone who may not have the knowledge of the styles of beer you are presenting. If you show enthusiasm to your customers they will show enthusiasm for your beer.
    Danny McGovern
    Monhegan Brewing Co.
    Monhegan Island, ME. USA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    We did a search for a brewpub location in our area and looked at a number of existing or distressed restaurant/bar sites. All of these sites had challenges to a retrofit; the biggest being total space, fit, load and loading dock access. Starting with an existing site is great because you have a lot of finishes to start with, which can reduce your buildout cost by $100 psf. If the site is distressed, then you may be able to get all/most of your restaurant fixtures and no/low security and guaranty. We ended up going with a gray-box retail site in order to get the 9,000 sf we wanted.

    Cheers, Rick

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