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CEDAR RAPIDS - A new brewery and taproom is planned to open in Kingston Village by Thanksgiving.
Travis Flenker is behind Thew Brewing, at 301 Second Ave. SW, which is the old Corner Pocket pool hall location.
Thew Brewing, when it opens, would join several breweries, including Iowa Brewing Co., Lion's Bridge Brewing Co., Backpocket Pilot Pub, and the Quarter Barrel, in the downtown area alone.
'There may be a little concern about the market becoming saturated, but the more breweries we have we become a destination town for breweries,” Flenker said.
Thew Brewing would be the first brewery in the Kingston Village area, which is on the west side of the Cedar River across from downtown.
Flenker is manager of data analysis at Hibu by day and a beer enthusiast and home-brewer by night. The focus will be the small system brewery with six barrels and the 'high-end craft beer for the seasoned beer enthusiast and casual beer drinker,” Flenker said.
They wont serve food or liquor. He anticipates hiring five employees.
Flenker had signed a letter of interest for West Side Wolf Pack V LLC's redevelopment of the old Lueck Label building, 218 Fourth Ave. SW, but that project has been delayed and Flenker said he was ready to launch his business.
Being part of an Kingston Village district was a priority for Flenker, who called it the 'next up-and-coming area in Cedar Rapids.” A diverse selection of new housing, a new restaurant and the McGrath Amphitheatre have helped fuel the resurging area. Quinton's Bar and Deli and a coffee shop also are slated to open.
Jason Rogers is a commercial broker and partner in Kingston Corner LLC, which owns the 3,558-square-foot building. Grand Rail Development of North Liberty is in process of rehabilitating the property.
The city of Cedar Rapids acquired the property in 2012 from former owner Arthur John LC for $185,000 as part of a flood buyout and selected Kingston Corner to redevelop it in 2014. At the time, the Cedar Crossing Casino appeared destined to go across the street.
'Initially the casino was a game changer for our group, so we were stunned to have it voted down,” Rogers said. 'Due to the great location of the property and the growing Kingston Village area, we decided to continue to move forward with the purchase from the city of Cedar Rapids.”
The group officially bought the property two years later in 2016 for $40,250. The same year the city awarded a package for tax breaks worth 10 years, 50 percent reimbursement - about $12,000 total - based on increased value under the core district reinvestment program.
The agreement also calls for the redevelopment of an adjacent parking lot at 305 Second Ave. SW, which Rogers said is planned as a second phase in the next few years. The total investment for both phases is expected to be around $1.4 million.
Rogers credited the city for working with his group as they put their project together.
'This shows anybody, even a smaller project, can step to the table and take advantage of what is available through the city,” he said.
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