A South Baltimore entrepreneur is brewing up plans to revive the former Pabst Brewing Co. building at the corner of Wells and South Charles Streets.
Former Austin Grill General Manager Spike Owen and a team of investors are spending more than $1.3 million to renovate the historic vacant building for the yet-to-be named project, expected to wrap up by fall. Baltimore's Green Door Properties LLC
is the developer.
Owen says he hopes to open a brewery that produces European and American-style ales and lagers and a taproom that seats 65 to 80 with a limited food menu. He says he is partnering with a veteran brewer with 25 years of experience but declined to name him as the brewer is employed elsewhere in town.
He’s the latest in the recent spate of hopeful entrepreneurs who have tapped into Baltimore residents’ thirst for locally made brews and beer-themed restaurants
. Other recent entries include Union Craft Brewing
in Woodberry and Heavy Seas Alehouse
in Little Italy.
The idea of renovating a historic building that dates from Baltimore’s brewing heyday appeals to Owen. Beer manufacturing thrived from the late-1800s to the mid-1900s, thanks to the city's German immigrants.
“We like the sense of history,” he says. “We’re trying to bring [the building] back to what its original use was. When you have something like this, it helps with the branding.”
Owen says he’ll spend the next few months getting permits, ordering brewing equipment and modernizing the building’s infrastructure. The idea is to retain the historic features, including brick walls, wood beams and high ceilings.
The property is down the street from the National Federation of the Blind
and a new apartment complex
set to open spring of 2014.