Details and helpful cities
The past 2 days have been fruitful. Wednesday I was able to tour a few locations in Castle Rock and take a look at what might work for us. The town definitely has some options, all of which (if in a vacuum) would be great spots. Outside of a vacuum, then we have to narrow it down. One was too big, though the physical location is awesome, and the space itself (with a little renovating) is spectacular and HUGE! Reminded me of a Munich beerhall in many ways. But at +5000 sqft, a little brewery like ours just couldn’t swing that. Hell, even a big boy like Breckenridge, with their pub & kitchen attachments would just fill it out. Just. Sweet space though.At the moment I’ve narrowed it to one spot, and we’re in initial negotiation phases to see if the numbers and such can work. As we get more details nailed down and something signed then I’ll share it with you guys. Until then….enjoy the suspense. In the meantime I popped into the town hall here in Castle Rock to chat with them on what they recommend on timing and other info when dealing with them for licenses, and such. Great people there, and they were excited about the idea of a micro-brewery opening up! I even wandered into and chatted with the ladies in the zoning department to just doubly make sure we were good in the location we’re looking at. I had done my homework and looked into spots and knew we would be good, but it never hurts to check with the actual enforcers, and say hi!
What makes Castle Rock an ideal place to be right now is that the town itself has, over the past few years, really stepped up and brought its A-game to the table in trying to attract new businesses. For us specifically (and other micros like us), the town went through their code and created a new zoning overlay for the downtown district, and another area just on the west side of I-25. Within this overlay zoning, what they did was already pre-approve a number of uses, one of which is explicitly for micro-breweries, micro-wineries, and micro-distilleries. In doing so they have basically stated that if you can find a space within the overlay zone that works for you, we’ll say YES! to the project. It makes it a LOT easier when a municipality puts in the work before hand like this, instead of having to wander through the system looking for a variance and getting caught up in bureaucracy.
After leaving the town hall, I also stopped by the EDC or Castle Rock’s Economic Development Council to say hi and introduce myself. Nice group of people there! They are a part of a larger group that includes the Merchants Association, the Downtown Development Authority, and I think the Chamber of Commerce (though I don’t remember for sure). In any case, all of them are what becomes a bit of a part-gov, part-private group that works with and supports local businesses in the Castle Rock area. When I mentioned what we were planning, the group there was excited and were immediately supportive, and wanted me to know that they would love to help in anyway they can. Having attempted this project in other cities in the Denver area a few years ago (we could never get a spot nailed down, and then life changed), some municipalities couldn’t be more unhelpful. So by comparison, Castle Rock has thus far basically rolled out the red carpet. It’s nice!
So, I know I’ve promised pictures and such, and once things really get going, we will have more than you’ll care to deal with. I just don’t want to jump the gun yet on the location until we have a lease in hand. And besides, for those of you who know about brewery openings, that’s when the fun (and lots of work) really begins.