PLYMOUTH – With a new craft brew tasting bar planned for Plymouth, a little bit of Koontz Lake is coming to the city.
Last week, the Plymouth Board of Zoning Appeals approved a variance of use request from Roger Holston, of Walkerton, the owner of Koontz Lake Brewery Co., 7747 S.R. 23, Walkerton, to turn a building at 529 N. Fifth St. into a craft brew tasting room.
“Our brewery is operating at about 25 percent capacity,” Holston said, “so we’re looking for another outlet for our product. This isn’t going to be a bar. It’s not going to be a nightclub. It’s not going to be something that’s open at 3 o’clock in the morning.”
The building, once a grocery store, according to Plymouth Plan Director Ralph Booker, is owned by Steve and Sherry Hahn of Plymouth. The property is zoned residential.
Holston didn’t give a timeline for when the North Fifth Street tasting room could be open for business. The building will undergo extensive interior and exterior renovations.
He said the Koontz Lake brewery opened in 2014.
The BZA approved Holston’s request with the stipulation that the tasting room not open before 4 p.m. weekdays and noon on weekends. The tasting room must close before 11 p.m. On Sunday the business will likely close at 6 p.m., Halston said.
He said the business will be open Thursday, Friday and weekends. He said he does not currently have plans to be open on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
Along with craft beer, the business will also sell wine and be a full-service restaurant.
Holston said the Koontz Lake business’s success has led to the need to expand.
“We just started advertising, because we had a hard time keeping up with demand without outnumbering the amount of beer we could produce,” Holston said. “And so we built a new brewery, so we don’t have that problem.”
The business will have between three and five part-time employees with three employees working at any given time, he said.
Halston said he believes most of his patrons will be from out of town.
One person did speak against the proposed establishment.
Tammy S. Baca, of West Madison Street, worried about traffic issues and child safety, claiming that three school buses travel the area daily.
Another property owner, Benjamin Oviedo, worried about the tasting bar’s hours of operation. He said he owns a rental property near the site and was concerned the business would bother his potential renters.
Oviedo told the BZA his concerns were alleviated when it added the stipulation about the tasting bar’s limited hours of operation.
A third commenter, Rebecca Atkins, of West Jefferson Street, spoke in favor of the business.
“I am anticipating an improvement to the building, and the grounds, and hoping for a viable business in this location,” she wrote in an email to Booker.