They were looking for a shotgun brewery.
That’s how Susan Miller, co-owner of Bold City Brewery, described the beginning of a sequence of events that led to Bold City Downtown, a craft brewery under construction at 106 E. Bay St.
The Downtown Investment Authority board on Wednesday approved a $20,000 forgivable loan to help finance build-out of the 1,400-square-foot space.
Miller referred to it as a “shotgun” because the space is much longer than it is wide, similar to the shotgun houses that once were prevalent in LaVilla.
Miller said she and her son, Brian, director of brewing, were approached by Jacques Klempf, developer of the Cowford Chophouse.
Klempf asked if they might be interested in opening a small brewing facility and tap room next door to the restaurant he’s building in the former Bostwick Building at the corner of Bay and Ocean streets.
Miller said the opportunity to brew and sell their beer Downtown was too good to refuse.
“I remember coming Downtown years ago to shop at (May) Cohens and eat at Morrison’s (Cafeteria). We’d get all dressed up,” she said.
The brewing operation — about 100 gallons per batch — will be in the back of the space with a bar area in the front.
A glass partition will separate the two areas while allowing customers to watch the beer-making process.
Miller said construction has begun and will be scheduled so as not to conflict with work going on at the restaurant. Both are slated to open this summer.
“We want to be ready by football season,” Miller said.
City Council President Greg Anderson said, “This is going to add to Downtown in a great way.” He is council liaison to the DIA board.
In another issue, Assistant General Counsel Jason Teal advised the board about an appeal filed protesting the Downtown Development Review Board’s approval of the design of the Gate convenience store and gas station that will be built in Brooklyn.
Teal said the DIA board will act as “the appellate body” and determine whether the review board was in error after hearing evidence from both sides and public comment.
The appeal hearing is 2 p.m. June 9 at City Hall.
The board also approved a resolution to solicit proposals to sell or exchange privately held property in Brooklyn for a city-owned right-of-way at the Riverside Avenue and Leila Street
The property comprises a storm water retention pond, a driveway adjacent to The Florida Times-Union building and portions of May Street. It was appraised six months ago at $400,000.
The resolution states the authority wants the property to be developed in a way that furthers residential and retail development along Riverside Avenue.