Three young entrepreneurs recently purchased a downtown Columbus building and plan to turn it into a craft beer bar.
Miles Greathouse, Garrett Lawrence and Robert Battle, equal partners in Beverage Holdings International LLC, closed on a deal to buy the 7,200-square-foot property at 1239 Broadway last Friday. Greathouse and Lawrence are partners in Maltitude, a craft beer retail store in the 1000 block of Broadway.
"We want to create a place where we can serve the same beers that we serve at Maltitude, but do it on premise," Greathouse said.
Georgia law prohibits the retail sale of beer at a location where the alcohol is consumed.
Maltitude will remain in its current location, Greathouse said.
"We thought it was in our best interest to keep the businesses separate," he said.
Beverage Holdings International LLC paid $390,000 for the building, which most recently was home to a business known as Spices Lounge. They plan to have the business open by early next year, complete with an updated facade, Greathouse said.
"Other than that, there is really not a lot of structural stuff to do," he said.
In addition to the craft beers, they are planning limited food options that will be made possible through their partnership with Trevor Morris, the owner of Trevioli Artisan Pasta Company, Greathouse said.
"We are looking at farm-to-table dishes, primarily small plates," Greathouse said. "We want the food to be on par with the beer."
Greathouse, 27, Lawrence, 28, and Battle, 33, have been talking about a business partnership since last year.
"Sometime in 2014 we began talking about opening a second Maltitude somewhere in north Columbus, Opelika or Auburn," Lawrence said. "When that fell through, this opened up and it has been a blessing in disguise."
This business opportunity came about after a discussion with their banker Matt Hussey at BB&T, Lawrence said.
"To be completely honest with you, we had not thought about this and we sat down with our friend Matt Hussey at BB&T," Lawrence said. "We were looking at a lease, and he said if you have the money for a build-out, why not just buy the building Everything worked out and we got there first."
Another factor in the purchase was the location of the Columbus State University College of Education on the former Ledger-Enquirer property at 12th Street and Broadway. That part of the downtown CSU campus is scheduled to be open fall 2016.
"The general momentum is shifting toward the 1200 block," Lawrence said. "The 1000 block is pretty much developed. The real estate in the 1200 block is severely undervalued and will only go up from here."