A brewer planning to open a restaurant and brewery on the east side of Franklin has asked a city board for additional funding.
Brian Nentrup, who owns Hoosier Brewing Co., has asked the Franklin Redevelopment Commission for another $55,000 that would help pay to finish the inside of the building on King Street and buy equipment needed for the kitchen and brewing operations. Nentrup is closing his brewery in Shelby County, moving its five employees to Franklin and opening a restaurant and brewery.
The city board previously approved a grant of $138,000 to remodel and equip the brewery location, which is in what was previously a vacant shopping center, just off Interstate 65.
Now, Nentrup is asking for the additional $55,000 to finish the inside of the building and have it ready to open as soon as August, he said. He is also putting an application into the Franklin Development Corp., a city-funded organization, for a loan to cover the rest of the costs. All of the money would come from the city’s tax-increment financing, or TIF, districts, which collect property taxes from certain businesses and set the money aside for infrastructure and economic development projects.
Members of the redevelopment commission wanted some time to review the request, and have asked Nentrup for additional information on his investment in the new location. The city board has funded about 66 percent of the $208,000 cost to remodel and equip the new location, and if the new request was approved, the city investment would total about 93 percent of the investment, board member Bob Heuchan said.
Nentrup said he has information that will show the board his investment, including running the brewing operation and buying equipment, along with his expected expenses for staffing and inventory once the new location opens, he said. He is also buying kitchen equipment from a closed restaurant in Lafayette, which is significantly cutting costs, he said.
He has also expanded his plans for how much space he would use at the shopping center, from an initial plan for 3,800 square feet to 5,300 square feet, and now likely needing the entire space to have enough room to fill a contract with Meijer to distribute his beers to 36 stores, he said.
The reason for coming to Franklin was to have a public presence with a brewery and restaurant, and he needed a community partner to do that, Nentrup said. Eventually, Nentrup hopes to open a second location in Franklin, which can handle a bigger production line for canned beer.
Having the added $55,000 will allow him to finish work to the brewery and open quickly, potentially as soon as late August, to begin bringing in customers and revenue, rather than waiting and slowing the project, he said.
That money, along with the loan from the Franklin Development Corp., would cover the remaining $70,000 in costs, including finishing flooring, drywall and ceilings, plumbing and electrical work, signs, installing cooling equipment and kitchen and brewing equipment, Nentrup said.
Members of the redevelopment commission will consider the request again in August, with the additional information from Nentrup on his investment into the project.