Around the Hood: New Neighborhood Half Acre Brewery Update
In other (amazingly not Whole Foods related) neighborhood news coming out from our friends down in Bowmanville…
Alderman O’Connor’s just released an update on the Half Acre Brewery expansion plans including a note from the owners below:
Survey respondents are overwhelmingly in favor of changing the zoning to allow Half Acre to operate a larger tap room and serve food. In fact, 91.7% of respondents (over 350 people) were in favor of the zoning change and the same amount felt that Half Acre is a positive addition to the neighborhood. There were a few concerns raised, most of which stemmed around parking, traffic and hours of operation/noise. I would like to help alleviate some of those concerns and to give a few more details.
Zoning change details: Half Acre is seeking a zoning change from an M1-1 zoning district to a C3-3 zoning district, in order to accommodate their tap (tasting) room and outdoor patio. Under the current zoning, their brewery facility is a permitted use, as is a tap room, but because their proposed tap room exceeds 4,000 square feet in area they will need the change to C3-3. The applicant will only ask to change the zoning for their parcel of land and it will not affect other properties in the area.
Parking: Half Acre is confident that they will have more than enough vehicle parking to accommodate both their staff and guests of the tap room. In fact, a great deal of the staff ride their bikes to work. Half Acre has the ability to securely store not only staff bikes, but also accommodate a large number of guest bikes.
Hours and Noise: In terms of hours, at most they plan to operate the tap room and restaurant from 12pm – 11pm on weeknights and 12pm – 12am or 1am on Fridayand Saturday evenings. These are the hours that they currently operate their tap room on Lincoln. They will not host live music as part of our regular offering. Any live music would require a special license (which Half Acre has no plans to acquire). They will also adhere to city patio closing times when operating the outdoor component of their business. The building’s structure will help to keep noise within the patio area.
Overall, the feedback for this project was overwhelmingly positive. Residents have noted that Half Acre has been a great neighbor at its other location. Many individuals commented on the jobs that Half Acre was bringing to our neighborhood—something that certainly influenced my support for this project. Mostly, people are looking forward to enjoying the new tap room. We are excited for Half Acre to open their establishment and provide a great local option for food and drinks in the neighborhood.
A note from the Half Acre owners:
The concerns that are being raised are all rational. The zoning change will simply allow us to build an onsite enjoyment component that better serves the neighborhood and community. We’re fortunate to have a very specific example of how an environment of this sort functions. Our brewery on Lincoln Ave has all of the same elements and more. I think that people want to feel like any change will involve a respect and care for their neighborhood. We’re pleased that we can confidently say that we create and support respectful environments and customers. We’ve operated a brewery for the last eight years and have done it in harmony with a great neighborhood, literally, in our backyard. We’ve operated a tap room for the last three years and have done so without any negative incidents or blatant disrespect toward our brewery or neighborhood. Half Acre Beer Company in Bowmanville does represent change, but hopefully the change is recognized as positive and conducive to a more vibrant neighborhood.
-Gabriel, Half Acre”