Brewery planned for former downtown winery building

July 3, 2013
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Chateua Thomas 225pxThe owner of a Greenwood restaurant and bar plans to open a brewery in the former Chateau Thomas Winery building at the south end of downtown across from the Rolls-Royce Meridian Center. Shawn Cannon, who operates Fireside Brewhouse, has filed plans to renovate 7,300 square feet of space that he is leasing on the building’s ground level to open Tow Yard Brewing. Cannon, who could not be reached for comment, hopes to have the brewery open by late summer, according to an online posting searching for an experienced brewer. The historic building, completed in 1900, houses 24 loft apartments mostly on the upper two levels. The ground floor has been vacant for several years and was last occupied by the winery. Local owner Joe Pearson restored the building and is attempting to sell it for $3.75 million. “It’s a good building, and you can’t find a much better location,” said James Begley, a local real estate broker who is listing the property at 501 S. Madison Ave.

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  • Skeptical
    Hope the beer is better than the food at Fireside. Also hope he has better taste for beer than what is displayed at Fireside. Pretty skeptical on this one.
    • Concur
      This doesn't really excite me. Went to Fireside once and never again. Can't even give it a "marginal at best" rating.
    • Original Ideas Have Died
      Downtown Indianapolis needs another brewery/restaurant combo as much as it needs another steak house. Apparently, all the original ideas are happening on Virginia Ave from Fletcher Place to Fountain Square.
      • Curious
        What is the difference if a restaurant brews their own beer or brings in beer? Do you think another restaurant is a bad idea in general?
        • beer
          Not looking forward to this one at all. Fireside in Greenwood is an overpriced joke with a joke of a beer lineup. This sounds like a guy trying to cash in on the microbrewery craze. Expect mediocre beers at best.
        • Curious--Response
          No, I am fine with a restaurant going in there. I'm fine with a restaurant that serves beer. I'm just saying there are already a few brewery/restaurants within walking distance of this one, and a more original concept might be more of a draw in this particular location. Added to that, others' negative comments, about Cannon's Greenwood location, would lead me to believe that this might not be a success.
        • Why not?
          Never been to Fireside, but I'll welcome another brewery. The artwork on the bottles is the only good thing about Sun King and they are pretty popular.
        • Skeptical
          I'm skeptical this location will work for a micro brewery. Currently it sits in a parking lot wasteland with little to zero foot traffic. Best of luck to the owner, but it feels like the wrong location.
          • Re: Willow
            Location is not the issue. This is actually a better location than most microbreweries. Look at the location of Sun King, Flat 12, Fountain Square, Bier, etc.
          • More!!!
            I've got a great idea. What about a frozen yogurt place in your new brewery? I think it would go over well here, since there seems to be a void of both offerings in Indianapolis.
          • This Blog has gone downhill
            Coming from someone who knows one of the owners, this blog posting is shamefully lazy and lacking information. This used to be a blog to get good info on things happening around town, not so much anymore.....
          • Curmudgeons
            To counterl the usual grumps who comment here, I welcome someone who is willing to take the risk of investing in downtown Indy. This owner will create more jobs this summer than Barack Obama has in 4 1/2 years.
          • Head Brewer
            I hear they hired an awesome head brewer from Seatlle so I'm sure the beer will be awesome
            • Hmmm
              There is a previous IBJ story on Shawn Cannon: http://www.ibj.com/bankruptcy-stops-condos-auction/PARAMS/article/39634
            • Wow
              J, thanks for posting that article. Not a very good sign for this project at all...
            • Well...
              ... I look forward to this venture and see nothing at all wrong with the location. Unfortunately, as has been pointed out, this article is full of inaccurate / misleading information.....
            • garbage
              This article is a complete piece of garbage full of incorrect information. Can the IBJ bring Cory back??
              • Re:Jon
                You know, by CLAIMING that the story is completely unfactual and then not including additional information about the aforementioned project that is not mentioned in the article, you make yourself look like an absolute horse's a$$. Such great insight is truly needed and appreciated.
                • What's inaccurate?
                  For those proclaiming inaccuracies I'd like to know what thy are. Otherwise it's no different than me saying this article is blue or green or purple or pink.
                • Huh?
                  Jon - how can there be inaccuracies in short a short article? Why don't you tell us what the inaccuracies are???????
                • oh goodie
                  Just what indianapilis needs, another head brewer with a big ego. Welcome to the midwest.
                • Jon, Back Up Your Words
                  Jon, if the article supposedly has "incorrect information," then (A) state what are the supposed errors in the article and (B) reveal how you know the supposed correct information so others can determine if you are a credible source or not. If you cannot do both A and B above, then your criticism of the article is useless and not something anyone else will take seriously. If you don't want to come across like just some crackpot, then you need to be able to back up your criticism.
                • Looking Forward to This
                  My husband and I have been to the Fireside in Greenwood on several ocassions and we have always been more than pleased with our meals. We are not alone either. Anytime I go to Fireside or pass the place it's either very busy to packed. It's also very attractive and clean with great atmosphere. So I am looking forward to seeing what Shawn Cannon does with this new adventure.
                • Optimistic
                  Never been to Fireside, but from all these negative comments, I'm hoping this will not be similar. At any rate, I'm looking forward to new beer. If I wanted to not drink this new beer, I could go anywhere else. And what's with hating on hiring a brewer from Seattle?
                  • mmhhhmmmm....
                    Here is what Shawn Cannon is all about: http://www.ibj.com/bankruptcy-stops-condos-auction/PARAMS/article/39634
                    • irrelevant
                      So a condo developer nearly lost some property in the worst housing crisis and economic downturn since the Great Depression, then managed to save it before it went to auction. This is a positive thing, not a negative one. Many, many others lost their shirts in the past 5 years. Mr. Cannon did not, obviously, seeing as he and the other owners are opening a large capacity microbrewery that will have regional distribution from day one.
                      • SOUTHSIDE
                        How about a section or blog that is only for the southside. I really get tired of only hearing about downtown and the northside. I'm sure the people in those areas appreciate this but the people south of downtown like to know whats coming and going down here also. Thanks
                        • Brewer from Seattle
                          Before you go hating on a brewer from Seattle, he last lived and worked in Seattle. He's from Indiana.
                        • Southside
                          Tow Yard Brewing Company is slightly South of South street, and therefore technically on the Southside.. Near-Southside anyway.
                        • Fireside is irrelevant
                          Fireside is irrelevant, or nearly so. The owners of Tow Yard Brewing Company own up to dozens of restaurants and bars and other businesses in and around Indianapolis. The fact that just one of these (Fireside) is mentioned in the first paragraph is a quite a bit misleading. I've never been to Fireside, so I don't have an opinion on it one way or the other, but it's menu and beer selection has zero bearing on what kind of company Tow Yard Brewing Company (a regionally distributed brewery, not a restaurant/bar) will be.
                        • More Beer. What's not to like.
                          Can't agree more with Tommy. You really shouldn't compare a bad beer bar with mediocre beer to a new brewery. Any brewery willing to open up in Indy has to serve great beer or they'll soon be out of business. There's too many good suds flowing already. And a Seattle trained brewer to boot. Sounds like a win-win for Downtown Indy.
                        • oops
                          Oops. Meant to say mediocre food.
                        • This is good news, not bad...
                          I don't know why so many people are down on this story. I'm just glad that SOMETHING is going in downtown south of I-70. That area is a retail wasteland (with a few notable exceptions like Shapiro's, Iozzo's Garden, Greek Islands, CityWay, Tavern on South)
                        • Good location
                          The owner realizes that 2200 Rolls-Royce employees (mostly engineers), owned by a British company, are right across the steet. Anyone with knowledge of engineers and Brits sholuld acknowledge that close proximity to beer is a good thing.
                        • Like
                          I agree - the investors were all risk-takers, and it's likely that Mr. Cannon willing to risk the most if he invested his own money. Bankers invest other people's money and don't suffer the significant and public losses of the business owner/investor. I'm sure that the people who criticize someone for failing have failed to even attempt to try.

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