Food Service & Agriculture, Real Estate, and Retail

Craft beer bar and store plans downtown location

August 9, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Craft Beer Cellar
Craft Beer Cellar is a franchise where owners are "interested in amazing beer from small breweries and all that comes with it." Photo via fb.com

A new beer bar and retailer could be coming to downtown Grand Rapids.

Brian Beaucher and his wife, Jessica Beeby, are headed to the Grand Rapids Planning Commission for a special land use to open Craft Beer Cellar, at 404 Ionia Ave. SW, at Wealthy Street SW. They hope to open this fall.

Craft Beer Cellar is a chain of beer retail locations on the East Coast, including 24 stores.

When Beaucher moved to Grand Rapids from Massachusetts, he wanted something different for his career, so he reached out to see if the franchise wanted a location in Grand Rapids. Craft Beer Cellars had Grand Rapids on its short list of desired locations.

Beaucher has experience in retail, as he co-owned an antique map store in Massachusetts.

“It’s an independently owned franchise. It’s up to us what we want to do with it,” he said. “We want to have a bar portion, in addition to the retail shop, to offer growler fills, a pint and a walk-in beer cave. We have flexibility to make it ours.”

Beaucher said the store would also focus on beer education.

“There’s a lot of great craft beer stores in Grand Rapids, but none combine the element of drinking a pint, while checking out the selection,” he said. “We also want people to critically think about what the beer tastes like, looks like and smells like with everyone else.”

The space

The location is a 2,500-square-foot retail space within the recently renovated Klingman Lofts, which opened in the fall and provides affordable housing.

The special land use is a request to eliminate the 11 parking spots required to open, as Beaucher’s application to the city said the proximity to high-density residential, Downtown Market parking lot and city meters should be more than enough parking.

The build out would be all within the walls, including 20 draft lines and a walk-in cooler.

“The building itself is pretty solid. It’s amazing,” Beaucher said. “There’s just some basic infrastructure within the walls we need to do.”

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