Monday, January 19, 2009

Bank Street update: System checks today.

I’ll try to post regular updates on our progress with the NABC Bank Street Brewhouse, beginning with this one, and continuing whenever there’s time and energy.

Today we had a lengthy conference call with the good people at DME, fabricator of the brewing system that will be officially on order just as soon as the bank package closes, which we hope will be in the next ten or so days.

The system specs were reviewed line by line. Architectural plans will be sent to DME and another check made to ensure that everything will fit as it should. When the build-out is completed in front and the taproom can open for business with beer supplied from Grant Line, our owner/contractor can begin roughing in the brewery floor plan and ready the building for shipping the system, which DME reckons can be delivered by May 1. It will take three to four weeks to install, and then brewing can begin at Bank Street.

Of course, we still have federal and state regulatory paperwork to complete as pertains to brewing. The Indiana three-way retail hearing is February 3, and then we should be clear to vend.

With the providential intervention of the marvelous Louisville-based architect Mose Putney, the interior and exterior designs for the building have undergone a complete transformation. The feel will be modern and contemporary, and it’s going to be a blast in warm weather with the garage doors up and the outdoor patio open.

Chef Josh Lehman, late of Le Relais, is supervising the kitchen completion and acquiring the equipment he will need to prepare the modified Belgian-style cafĂ© menu that we’ll be offering.

In addition to ongoing duties at the original brewery location, which will remain operational as the source of seasonal and specialty beers, brewers Jesse Williams and Jared Williamson are heavily involved with the Bank Street planning phase. We’ll be hiring another brewer to join Jesse downtown come summer, while Jared will run the Grant Line facility.

Kelsey Donovan, a veteran of Schlafly’s brewpubs in St. Louis, will be the bar manager downtown. John Campbell, formerly of Schlafly and Bluegrass Brewing Company, is the marketing director and brand manager, charged with outside sales in Louisville metro and Indiana once production begins in earnest.

Gregg Rochman of the Rocklee Company is the project manager, numbers cruncher and professional prodder, and I’m drinking beer, signing checks and writing promos like this one. My official title is carnival barker, and Gregg’s my interpreter. We couldn’t have gotten this far without him, and now the heaviest lifting will start.

Barring the unforeseen, the soft opening will commence circa the middle of February. Opening times, kitchen hours and the like will be variable for a while as we get a feel for what will fly.

We’re excited about the prospects when we join the existing downtown dining and drinking establishments, as well as the forthcoming Toast on Market and the River City Winery, in creating critical mass in the historic business district.

Just a bit longer …

1 comment:

antzman said...

Congratulations to everyone involved with this. Construction is a painful process, but once it is finished I know you all will be happy with the results. If you have any questions on what we went through last year, let me know.