CLEVELAND — Scottish Brewery BrewDog plans to move into The Avian building on Scranton Peninsula by the end of the summer or early fall.
“We’ve been searching Cleveland for a long time or the right site,” said BrewDog USA’s Head of Special Projects Keith Bennet.
The craft brewery already has locations in Columbus, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh. The Cleveland location is slated to have a kid’s play area, dog park, outdoor bar, and outdoor seating along one of the bends of the Cuyahoga River that overlooks Downtown Cleveland.
“People’s desire to go out and socialize has not gone anywhere, it’s just their ability to,” said Bennet when asked about opening up a business during a pandemic. “So we’re very confident that’s going to come back.”
The building BrewDog Cleveland will move into was initially intended to be office space by developer Fred Geis.
He was refurbishing the building when the COVID pandemic broke out in the United States, prompting Geis to pivot in the middle of the project.
“We set out to really anticipate the new behaviors of people post-pandemic,” said Geis in May 2020.
The building has an upgraded HVAC system to better circulate and clean the air. When offices were still the likely outcome for the space, Geis said it was designed to keep visitors and workers in separate parts of the building to prevent the spread of germs.
BrewDog founder James Watt dropped hints on Twitter that the brewery was looking at the space starting a few months ago.
BrewDog Cleveland? Watch this space...... pic.twitter.com/8wsvNUCVOb— James Watt (@BrewDogJames) December 4, 2020
“We started thinking, ‘Well, if tenants are going to relocate and they’re going to stay in the city of Cleveland, they’re going to want a different kind of building than what exists everywhere else,” Geis said.
The Avian is the first building as part of the Thunderbird development, which envisions a series of developments along Scranton Peninsula.
Much of it is unused, old industrial space that sits across the Cuyahoga River from Downtown Cleveland, down the hill from Ohio City and Tremont, and is now connected by recently-finished and under-construction bike trails.
The currently inoperable/inaccessible Eagle Ave bridge (red) would be perfect to connect the Scranton Peninsula + @BrewDogUSA (blue) with the future @clevewhiskey (orange), and extend the Towpath trail (green). And look at those riverfront parking lots ripe for development!! https://t.co/Ht7PFgir7q pic.twitter.com/e6eOHQAcOT— Ian Meadows (@urbanetics_) April 14, 2021
All those steps each contribute to connecting future customers to BrewDog Cleveland’s new space.
It’s already sparked conversations about connecting other parts of the Cuyahoga River, like Flats South, where Cleveland Whiskey is renovating a historic produce storage facility to be its new distillery and restaurant.
Cool study we did a few years back to better connect the Flats and Gateway - https://t.co/J8gqCbs1lG— Ken Schneider (@KCSWork) April 14, 2021
“We’ve been looking for iconic buildings to really build and amazing BrewDog experience with large 10,000 square feet sites that have an amazing outdoor component and real destination for beer lovers and this site just make perfect sense,” said Bennet. “We saw it and fell in love with it.”
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