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Old Posted Aug 9, 2009, 5:49 AM
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LMich LMich is offline
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This development, below, is one of two brew pups, downtown, scheduled to reopen, this year:


Rod Sanford/Lansing State Journal

Coming soon: Michigan Brewing Co.'s Lansing location, MBC, will be non-smoking and offer 16 kinds of beer and a full menu. Some beers will come from Webberville, where the company is based, and others will be brewed on site.

Downtown brew pub readies to open doors

Melissa Domsic • • August 8, 2009 • From Lansing State Journal

Michigan Brewing Co.'s downtown Lansing location is nearing an opening date, a year later than expected.

As with several area commercial developments, the company's plans to open a brew pub in August 2008 were delayed by a tight credit market that made financing difficult.

But officials say plans are back on track and the 50-employee site on Washington Square near Kalamazoo Street should open within a few weeks.

"It's been proposed for a while but the economy made it difficult to get the necessary financing," said Ernie St. Pierre, general manager for the company's expansion. "We finally worked it out this spring."

The cost of the project has not been disclosed by the privately owned company.

Michigan Brewing Co., based in Webberville, opened in 1995. Its 76,000-square-foot headquarters includes a brewery, pub, tasting room, distillery, winery and store that caters to home brewers and wine makers. Its beer is distributed in 10 states and Sweden.

The company also recently started brewing musician Kid Rock's American Badass Beer line.

Crews are putting the final touches on the Lansing location, MBC, at 402 S. Washington Square.

The 4,000 square-foot facility formerly housed the Greenhouse Bistro, but has been mostly vacant for a couple of years, St. Pierre said.

The pub will be non-smoking and feature 16 kinds of beer and a full menu.

Some beers will come from the Webberville location, and others will be brewed on site, St. Pierre said. The company has finished hiring about 50 mostly part-time employees for the new spot.

"We feel it's kind of a real opportune location," he said.

St. Pierre hopes to draw customers from Cooley Law School and the proposed Michigan State Police headquarters at Grand Avenue and Kalamazoo Street.

The brew pub isn't the only business hoping to cash in on the state police building, which could bring 560 workers downtown if the move is approved.

A Chinese restaurant is slated to open next to the pub at the former site of the Petit Cafe, 400 S. Washington Square.

The state police headquarters is the draw for the new restaurant, said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of the Lansing Economic Development Corp.

"To me, it's another testament to how valuable having those state troopers coming downtown as an economic multiplier effect," he said.

The property owner, Sui-Wah Chan of Ann Arbor, could not be reached for comment.

Al Maywood looks forward to the renewed activity on his block. Maywood owns the Downtown Smoking Club at 406 S. Washington Square.

"It's a good thing to come down to this area," he said.

After all, he said, cigars go with beer.
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