The Fat Kat nightclub operated in one form or another in a building at 1183 Edgewood Avenue since the early 1990’s. Fat Kat’s tenure was plagued by a nefarious history of drug deals and violence. Shortly after a shooting that left one dead and three injured, the business shut down for good in 2014. However, a more welcomed tenant may soon be occupying the former nightclub if a recent rezoning request gets approved to allow for the development of a craft brewery.
Long-time home brewer, Broc Flores has begun the process to open Fishweir Brewing Company along Murray Hill’s red-hot Edgewood Avenue. The opening of a craft brewery is seen as the pinnacle of the now bustling corridor’s newfound popularity.
Originally built in 1942, John B. Kowkabany has owned the 5,975 square feet building since 1984. The space is immediately adjacent to B Street Eats, a Latin American eatery adjoined to popular Maple Street Biscuit Company. Currently the property is zoned CCG-1, which does not allow for the use of a brewery on site along with the sale and service of beer/wine for on-site or off-site consumption. Despite craft beer’s booming popularity and undeniably positive effect on commercial real estate, the industry locally still faces difficult road blocks due to land use laws that have not caught up to modern day realities.
Recently, a rezoning application has been submitted to begin what is sure to be a long process for Flores to begin producing and selling beer in the structure. Flores has filed for a PUD that seeks to permit the development of a brewery which includes the sale and service of beer, wine, cider and mead for on-site consumption within the building, existing covered patio, and new rear patio, as well as, the sale and service of beer, wine, cider and mead for off-site consumption and distribution.
Additional complimentary uses nearby include Town Beer Co and Moon River Pizza,
As is common among mixed-use areas, the rezoning also requires a waiver of minimum distance requirements from a church, as the Edgewood Avenue Christian Church is located within 1,500 of the proposed brewery. No parking waivers for customers are required, however the brewery seeks permitting in order to accommodate two parking spaces for employees located in the rear of the property. The building has seven (7) street spots and five (5) additional spots have been obtained through a sharing agreement with Maple Street Biscuit Company. There is ample street parking located on the surrounding side streets. If the proposed use is approved, construction is estimated to last 14 months.
What’s next for Murray Hill?
Murray Hill’s Edgewood Avenue is uniquely positioned to reap the rewards of a context-sensitive street redesign - a low-cost solution that enhances safety and mobility options, while providing lucrative economic development opportunities. Murray Hill’s Edgewood Avenue is uniquely positioned to reap the rewards of a context-sensitive street redesign - a low-cost solution that enhances safety and mobility options, while providing lucrative economic development opportunities.
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