Safety Team Brewery seeks permit to open along Brookland Park Blvd.

Posted at 11:06 AM, Jun 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-15 11:06:39-04

RICHMOND, Va. — A two-block stretch of Brookland Park Boulevard is being eyed for two developments – a brewery and business accelerator – that backers say are intended to spur the corridor’s revitalization.

Development groups behind the two projects – Safety Team Brewing at 310 W. Brookland Park Blvd., and Urban Capital Collaborative at 201 W. Brookland Park Blvd. – presented plans Thursday evening at a meeting of the Brookland Park Area Association.

Local developer Cory Weiner, brewer Brandon Tolbert and business partner Chris Campanella, who would manage the brewery, plan to submit an application in about a week for a special-use permit (SUP) to construct Safety Team, a 6,500-square-foot brewery that would replace the former carwash and a nearby vacant lot at Brookland Park Boulevard and Fendall Avenue.

Plans call for a single-story building with a possible second-story rooftop patio. The first-floor façade would include garage doors to allow for indoor and outdoor seating, along with an indoor bar and production area and 13 on-site parking spaces.

Weiner, who purchased the two parcels in February for $25,000 each, said the brewery would be a catalyst for redevelopment in the area and is intended to be a gathering place for the neighborhood.

“It’s really focused on being a neighborhood place,” said Campanella, who met Tolbert while he was general manager of Southbound restaurant in Chesterfield County. He also worked eight years at Morton’s The Steakhouse downtown and six years at Edo’s Squid. This is his first business venture.

Several residents in attendance expressed concerns over whether a brewery is an appropriate use for the corridor, citing issues with substance abuse in the area. Others in attendance said the project would be a benefit to the neighborhood and help attract more businesses and restaurants.

Campanella said the brewery would employ 20 to 30 full-time employees and present job opportunities for area residents. He also said it would host neighborhood cleanups and be active in the community.

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