So it turns out transitioning an old, long-vacant pharmacy into a microbrewery and restaurant is a somewhat complicated process. More accurately, it’s an expensive process, as the group behind the Two Hound Red Microbrewery is finding out.
The old Schmid Pharamcy building was purchased for $760,000 and it’s now estimated that the project will cost $3.1 million to complete. With a gap in funding, the developers requested a tax incentive from the village, which was approved unanimously on June 12. The village will receive a base of $15,000 worth of tax revenue, but the remaining dollars will be split up with 75% going towards Two Hound and 25% going to the village. This arrangement will remain in place for 10 years, or until Two Hound receives $105,000 worth of rebates.
“I think this is a business that we want in our downtown area,” trustee Mark Senak said. “It occupies a space that’s been a chronic vacancy. I think it’s the type of business that makes Glen Ellyn attractive as a destination for people who are from Wheaton or Lombard or Lisle or Downers Grove.”
Currently the two restaurants that are actively bringing in residents from outside Glen Ellyn are unsurprisingly Fire and Wine, and A Toda Madre. With how popular the new Maize + Mash has become, I would expect them to join that list shortly, if they haven’t already. With the possibility of adding another high quality destination to Glen Ellyn’s downtown, and one that doesn’t currently exist (a microbrewery) and in a long vacant building on top of that, you can understand why the village is eager to help this vision become a reality.
Back when we first heard about Two Hound Red Microbrewery, the idea of a farm-to-table concept, with 12 rotating beers brewed on site, a focus on serving great craft cocktails, and on top of all of that, the first rooftop dining experience in Glen Ellyn…it seemed almost too good to be true. That may still be the case, but there are a few reasons to be optimistic.
According to the Daily Herald, the men behind the project, Jon With and John Lindstrom, are currently putting the menu together and have hired Kenny Grommon who was previously a master brewer for Two Brothers Brewing Company. Two Brothers crafts some high quality beer, and have extensive restaurant experience as well with a tap house in Warrenville, the Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora, and a three floor multifunctional restaurant The Craftsman which recently opened in Naperville. I’m not sure if brew master Kenny Grommon had anything to do with a single one of these places, but even if he didn’t, now I’m hungry to go check them all out.
Although it doesn’t sound like we will be able to experience rooftop dining on a hot summer day in Glen Ellyn this year, the goal for opening the microbrewery is currently late fall. My only hope now is that the Bears haven’t been eliminated from playoff contention by the time Two Hound opens its doors.