Arbor Brewing Company and Corner Brewery owners Rene and Matt Greff planned to take a break after launching a brewpub in southern India earlier this year, but they couldn't resist the opportunity to open up a new location at old Fenton Fire Hall.
Rene Greff said the concept plan for Fenton includes a microbrewery and lounge upstairs with a private event space downstairs with bars on both levels and an open kitchen. They also plan to have three different outside seating areas, including a deck. They said they own a 1967 fire truck they plan to turn into a mobile draft system.
Rene Greff said their Corner Brewery location in Ypsilanti was a project that resembled the old Fenton Fire Hall when they opened it in 2006. They took a long-vacant warehouse and made it into a popular restaurant and brewery that includes a beer garden.
“It helped to redefine and reinvigorate the neighborhood,” Greff stated in the proposal.
The Corner Brewery uses solar thermal and geothermal methods for energy and focuses on being a green operation.
The Ann Arbor-based Arbor Brewing Company menu consists of everything from sandwiches to andouille and salmon etouffee and fettuccine aurora. Rene Greff said the menu in Fenton would be locally sourced and homemade. She said she wants to work with the community and perhaps find something that is missing in Fenton. She said food would be moderately priced.
Rene Greff said one advantage that they hold is that Arbor Brewing Company is an established business on solid financial footing. Owners expect the project could be done in six months after plan approval.
"Once we get going, we tend to crank it out," Rene Greff said.
She also said they planned to be heavily involved in the community and are family friendly.
The interview process
The selection committee consists of DDA director Michael Burns, DDA member Tom Bertschy, City Manager Lynn Markland, DDA Vice Chairman Jim Saule and DDA member Doug James, similar to the group that previously selected .
Interviews will began at 11 a.m. Tuesday. After, a financial analysis of the final candidates will be conducted that may take up to 30 days to complete. A recommendation from the committee will then be made to the full DDA Board for approval. The schedule for interviews is as follows:
- 11 a.m. with the owners of, the Detroit Beer Company and Royal Oak Brewing Company.
- 12 p.m. with the owners of and .
- 1:45 p.m. with the owners of
- 2:45 p.m. with the owners of Union Joints ().
Read about the other old Fenton Fire Hall interviews on Fenton Patch.
The hopes to narrow the list of finalists following the interviews Tuesday afternoon.
The group hopes to have decisions finalized by the DDA meeting on June 19.