If all goes as planned, a new brewpub could open in Clintonville as early as this fall.
Plans are in place to turn the former Clintonville Outfitters building, 2864 N. High St., into a coffee-by-day, brewpub-by-night establishment featuring craft coffee and a host of sour beers.
Evan Fracasso is part of United Development Services LLC, which owns the site under the name 2864 Clintonville LLC. According to Franklin County auditor’s records, the building was purchased in March for $511,650.
Clintonville Outfitters, the last occupant of the building, closed its doors in January 2018.
Fracasso said partners Jake Borsvold and Massie Lawson – who have not yet signed a lease for the site and are not speaking publicly until that lease is complete – plan to put the new brewery and coffee shop at the site under a new name rather than under an existing central Ohio brand.
He said the idea originally was for a brewpub only, but “based on some of the feedback” from the neighborhood, the operators are considering adding the coffee element.
“They also may get into some coffee roasting and other things,” Fracasso said.
The operators’ current plan is to brew mainly sour beers off-site and bring the barrels to the space to age. They also plan to have a space for rotating food trucks for customers.
Plans also include a “beer garden” in the middle of the space that would be screened off for winter use.
Fracasso said the pair have a “very good business plan and financial backing” and said he thought the use made sense, given Clintonville’s trajectory.
“You see what Clintonville is turning into, with everything going on at Lineage and Condado or even further up the road at Northstar,” he said. “It’s becoming a destination community, very similar to what German Village is. People come from around the city to enjoy the unique offerings Clintonville has.”
Visually, Fracasso said the brewpub plans to take accidental inspiration from Lindemore Motor Sales, which operated out of the building in the 1920s. He said a commission member showed him an old newspaper clipping that showed an all-glass exterior, and it matched almost perfectly with the current plans.
“It just happened to be a great coincidence,” he said. “That was our plan originally, so when he sent me that clipping, I was like, ‘That’s great.’ ”
Before that can happen, the site will need to be rezoned from retail to restaurant use and work out a compromise over parking.
At its June 4 meeting, the Clintonville Area Commission’s zoning and variance committee discussed the building for the first time.
To operate under the restaurant zoning, the space would need 79 parking spots, given its size. Currently, the building has just seven.
Commission members showed concerns about that difference, but offered suggestions on how to get closer to 79 spaces by partnering with other local businesses or adding parking in the nearby alley to make up the difference.
The 79-spot figure also could be reduced if the commission decides to exempt the building’s production area and beer garden from the parking figure.
Fracasso said he already knows of one business owner who can provide eight spots during evenings, and said he expects to find a solution to the problem.
“It’s one of those things we have to work out,” he said. “I think it is a small roadblock, but I think there are some workarounds that we’ll be able to figure out.”
If all goes according to plan, Fracasso said the brewpub could be ready for operation as early as late October or early November.