Powell's first microbrewery could get a little bigger -- make that a lot bigger -- if the city approves the construction of a new home for Ill Mannered Brewing Co.
The brewery, which opened in 2015, operates out of a 1,000-square-foot storefront in the Grace Plaza strip center on Grace Drive near Powell's downtown. The plaza's owner, DJCF Holdings, plans to build a separate 3,000-square-foot building for Ill Mannered at the east end of the site.
Powell's Planning and Zoning Commission on May 10 reviewed a preliminary proposal for the building. The board did not vote on the project at the meeting.
Dave Betz, Powell's development director, said the proposal could serve as a way for the city to retain a growing business.
"(City) staff has been working with Ill Mannered for a little bit trying to find them space to keep them in Powell," he said.
Chris Meyers, the city's architectural adviser, said DJCF Holdings and Ill Mannered have a chance to create a distinctive space.
"These sort of businesses and opportunities in Powell are really what makes it so unique," he said. "We're not a community that's just filled with theme restaurants you get on every street corner in America."
Meyers said he hopes the building's design gives customers or passersby a glimpse into the brewing process. He said he wants to see a lot of thought put into a proposed patio to prevent it from becoming an eyesore or a nuisance to nearby residents.
Tom Ayers, one of the brewery's founders, said he does not expect Ill Mannered's operations to change dramatically after the new building opens. He said there are no plans in the works to bring in live musicians or launch a menu at the proposed site.
Board member Trent Hartranft said he thinks the business' expansion will be "welcome in the community." He said the location of the expansion -- along a well-traveled bypass of the Four Corners intersection of Liberty and Olentangy streets -- calls for an attractive building.
"It's an area where it's going to be well-seen," he said. "It's going to be a destination site."
Commission member Bill Little said the applicant needs to keep the site's residential neighbors in mind while designing the building.
Little said he also supports the idea of working with Ill Mannered to plan a new building that works for it.
"I think it's important to keep a successful business in Powell," he said.