PARRSBORO, N.S. – Main Street’s most visible vacant property will be taking on new life this year in the form of a new craft brewery and a bakery.
A group of local business people has come together on the project, which will see a new building constructed on the former Kallio property. For the past decade or more, the lot has seen nothing more than a ground-level rooftop covering the foundation, and has been known to locals as “The Rooftop.”
Partners on the venture are David Beattie, Wendell Gallagher, Tom MacLaren and Norman Rafuse.
“There is very much a trend of craft beers, and we’ve seen what little breweries have done in other communities like Tatamagouche, for example, and the people it draws to that town,” said Beattie. “There are also a number in small towns scattered around the province, and there really aren’t any close to Parrsboro.”
With area tourism growing thanks to developments such as Parrsboro Creative, and the Cliffs of Fundy Aspiring Global Geopark, they believed the time was right for this kind of operation in town.
The name of the new brewery will be Two Islands Brewing Company.
As for the bakery, the main idea can be summed up in two words – “fresh bread.”
“We’re going to aim for fresh-made, no preservatives, and also a coffee shop with the bakery,” said Beattie. “People will be able to come in, get their cup of coffee, buy some baking, fresh rolls, have a little sweet, sit around and chat a bit, and enjoy themselves.”
The bakery will have a separate entrance from the brewery, which will have a tasting bar and will have the age restrictions necessary for an establishment serving alcohol.
The group has been tossing around ideas like this for a few years, and had this location in mind from the start, according to Beattie, who also owns Gillespie House Inn and Black Rock Bistro.
“We always said we wanted to be on Main Street,” he said. “It’s been hurting a bit because some businesses have closed, and we decided we should be on Main Street and part of the downtown core of the town. It’s probably easier to build something on the edge of town, but that’s not where we wanted to be.”
The project is still in its early stages, with some plans prepared, and will begin the process of licensing and approvals in January. The group is also inviting other investors to join in the community development project, and Beattie said a number have joined already.