Beer Me has opened in downtown Flowery Branch, and Lakeside Market was preparing earlier this week to be its neighbor in a new red brick building on Main Street.
The businesses’ opening at 5609 Main St. culminates four years of effort, starting with the demolition of a century-old house on the property, which is off Mitchell Street and across from Antebellum restaurant.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Karen Ching, the building’s owner, who has seen the project through government meetings, permits and construction.
There have been a couple of bumps, including one of the original tenants, pizzeria Peyton’s Pie Co., pulling out. A cigar lounge later pledged space in the building but also backed out.
Ching’s son, Robert Sabbath, and Marc Stampfli are co-owners of Beer Me, which opened Nov. 1 and is planning a Nov. 16 ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.
Business “has been great” so far, Stampfli said.
Originally, the craft beer store was located in one of the older city-owned buildings on Main Street.
“Being able to build this place from scratch was kind of our vision, and to create a place where people hopefully want to come in and hang out,” Stampfli said.
The business features 25 beers on tap, including pale ales, stouts and lagers. Hard cider and non-alcoholic root beer also are offered. The store has tables and TVs, so patrons can drink on site or take beverages home.
Ching said that after looking around the vacant space in the building, “my husband and I decided we would move Lakeside Market into the new building,” Ching said.
“The original building was just too small and (we) thought it was the perfect opportunity to grow,” she said.
Lakeside Market, which was next door to the new building, will continue to offer prepared foods and other products, such as imported cheeses and assortments of crackers and bruschetta snacks.
But because it has more room, visitors will be able to eat one of the freshly made sandwiches on site. The market also plans to eventually serve coffee.
Ching’s building has another tenant, Home Care Matters, a home caregiver service, locating there in late October.
As far as the old Lakeside Market building, “we have had many people interested, but they seemed to be more curious about the building,” Ching said. “We are just not sure, as of yet, what we will do with the building, especially with new developments planned in the city.”