I suppose that every life is marked with important milestones: first birthdays, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, obtaining driver’s licenses, ordering your first beer at a bar, etc. Well, Martin House certainly hit one late last week when we finally signed the lease on a beautiful space that met or exceeded almost all of our criteria. It’s official- we’ll be moving out of the backyard and into a warehouse.
The space in question is a 9,000 square foot building just barely outside of downtown situated directly (I mean directly) on the Trinity Trails. As you make your way east on 4th street out of downtown it’ll be the first building on the north side of the street across the river. Check it out on your next ride, but watch out for the trail detour right around Riverside Park. From the garage doors you can watch the sun set against the downtown skyline.
220 South Sylvania Avenue, Fort Worth, TX
It wasn’t all sunshine and roses however. We had multiple false starts and prolonged, fruitless attempts at doing deals that were extremely frustrating. Good brewery sites don’t grow on trees, and when we did find an adequate place, someone would come in and buy the building we were trying to rent (or attempt to buy, then back out at the last minute leaving us high and dry.) With the equipment scheduled to arrive in the early part of November, we were feeling pretty stressed. As luck would have it, from the moment we found the place (located by cycling by and looking up the bank of the river) to the moment we signed the lease less than a full week elapsed. I guess once you find the place you were destined to be in, the rest is easy.
Personally, I couldn’t be happier with the space or the location, and I know the rest of the crew feels the same. We can’t wait to open the doors and start shipping product- but first we’ll need to knock down a couple of walls and install a brewhouse. No small feat, and probably the first of a series of many future blogs about the challenges of construction.
Before we can start any real work we’ll need to get right with the city for permits, inspections, and other assorted checks, which may be a challenge, but we have heard from a couple of sources that usually they are easy/pleasant to work with, so we have our fingers crossed and hope to make it as painless as possible for us and them. As we are getting the building ready we will also be continuing to try to get our name out there by serving beer and contacting prospective customers. Not to mention filling out the required paperwork from the TABC and TTB. There is no shortage of things to do.
I feel like a parent that is watching their kid grow up- it seems like fast-forward. Wasn’t it just yesterday when we were writing the business plan? It’s exhilarating, scary, exciting, exhausting, a million different things all at once, but it’s definitely awesome. Any day now we’ll be selling that first beer and Cody will have to shave off his giant beard.