Yesterday we (Mindy and Ron), and some amazing friends and family took apart the interior of the brewery! It was a lot of work (and there is still a little bit more to go)… but we are very excited for this major amount of progress made, and thankful for everyone who gave up a huge part of their weekend to lend us a hand. Most of us are feeling it today! Enjoy this time-lapse of the demolition!
Our last post mentioned a little bit about why it was so important to open this business in Grandville, Michigan, but I think it’s worth telling you a little bit more about why this city is such a perfect place for our new brewery! Now that we have announced our plans and word is traveling fast, we are even more excited to get started on the real work of renovation, and of course, brewing up lots of beer! We can’t wait!
A little while ago, the city’s Downtown Development Authority made the decision to move forward with a renovated Chicago Drive streetscape project, spanning the road from Division to Ottawa. For many years, the area has been missing something, being utilized primarily as a major roadway connecting Grand Rapids to Jenison, and areas further west. While many wonderful local businesses have stood the test of time, a few properties have changed hands, and the general appearance of the streetscape has left much to be desired. While new developments on the south end of town have expanded and done well, it felt like the “old” downtown was left behind. But, that is changing now.
When meeting with city officials, a commonly heard statement was “Grandville needs a microbrewery.” Well, we wanted to open a brewery, we wanted it to be in Grandville, and they wanted us to be there. It is very exciting when things just seem to click into place! We are very excited to be opening in a recognizable and prominent space: The old “Elders Appliance building”, which often returns an “Oh, I know right where that is!” A familiar landmark to residents, and an easy-to-find spot for visitors. We are thrilled with this location at Chicago Drive and Franklin, and felt that circumstances led us to be there for a reason. Additionally (and just as importantly), we have a special connection with the town, both professionally and personally. My family goes back a few generations in Grandville, my grandparents and most of my aunts and uncles and cousins still live nearby. I always felt that no matter where I live, Grandville is home. We both have such a love of this city, and we could not imagine our business being anywhere else.
If you drive through downtown Grandville now, you will see the power lines are now buried, sidewalks have been redone with charming brick, benches have been installed, planters in place, ready for spring flowers, street lamps light the way at night. Long-standing businesses are benefiting from the street’s facelift, and our hope is that those who have been landmarks of Grandville will thrive even more as the project approaches completion. The Rainbow Grill, Steenstra’s Royal Dutch Bakery, Strider’s, Talsma Jewelers, Richard Engels Jewelers, Jergens Menswear, Parable Christian Store, Chicago Drive Pub, Blooming Deal Consignment, and Changing Thymes (a large antique and thrift store), are just a few more of the places worth checking out in downtown Grandville. There is a need and a demand for more small businesses to fill in the gaps, but we feel confident that more will choose this area, seeing how beautiful it truly is becoming. We look forward to watching it continue to flourish, and we hope if you’re passing through, you stop by and see us (or, if you are really nice, you can make a special trip)!
We know (and it has already been said a few times) that a lot of people will think of a certain Red Wings goalie when they hear the name Osgood. Well, I suppose I can think of worse things to be affiliated with, but in actuality the name belonged to a man who lived almost 200 years ago. Okay, now that I say that, it sounds fairly geeky, but the truth will come out sooner or later – we are a little geeky. We were reading a book that belonged to my Grandpa, open to whatever inspiration or unique facts that might come through to us, and a name was tucked in among those of the early residents and servants that played a role in Grandville’s establishment. Among those pages we read about Hiram Osgood, a lawyer who kept a tavern to supplement his income – Osgood Tavern – which was the first in Grandville. Ron and our friend Chris even went digging through the historical society’s records, old pictures, papers, and maps, truly fascinated by the city’s past, something I think we all find ourselves a little too busy to think about, but we were very excited about what we were learning. The old photos and names brought to life a time that is virtually forgotten, as other parts of our city are developed with well-known restaurants and stores. When a renovation was planned for the “old” downtown, something just seemed to call us to this idea of being a part of it, and creating something that was unique to the city.
It was just a few sentences in the midst of a long story, but the name stuck in our heads as we tried to find a way to honor our connection to the city. We want everyone to know that our hearts are in this. We are not simply opening a business that could exist anywhere. It had to be here. It is about being woven into the beautiful story of this town, and we wanted to tie our thread to the past in the spirit of history and tradition, and with faith in the future.