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.

  • 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:
            • 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:
                    • 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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                        Sponsored by
                        1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

                        2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

                        3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

                        4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

                        5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim