New SLO Brew will be smaller than originally planned

SLO Brewing Co. in San Luis Obispo.
SLO Brewing Co. in San Luis Obispo.

The plans for relocating SLO Brewing Co. have been scaled back by developer Hamish Marshall — reducing the project from three stories to one story and nixing a rooftop patio.

The original plan was cost prohibitive, Marshall said.

The more than 26-year-old restaurant, bar, brewery and music venue will still move from its location at 1119 Garden St. to 726-738 Higuera St. but will likely no longer be the music mecca it has been.

Todd Newman, who manages the music acts at SLO Brew and had partnered with Marshall for the new location, will no longer be a co-owner of the business, Marshall said. Newman will continue to manage the music at SLO Brew before and after the move.

“We have different goals,” Marshall said of the split. “His passion is music and that is what he wants to do, which is great.”

Newman could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Originally, the plan for the two-story, 15,000-square-foot Higuera Street building was for a restaurant, bar and brewery on the first floor and a 3,000-square-foot concert venue on the second floor. A rooftop patio with small bar was also envisioned.

Under this new plan, the bar, restaurant and music will be on the first floor, with a beer garden patio in the back, along San Luis Creek. The second floor will be leased as residential and commercial space. Marshall anticipates opening SLO Brewing Co. on Higuera in summer 2015.

“SLO Brew has always been about the experience and always had music, beer and food,” said Marshall. “We will still have all three. We are just going to spend more time and energy at this point on expanding the beer brand.”

Marshall plans to grow production to include tap handles at restaurants and bars and eventually bottling it and selling it in stores.

The beer is now brewed at the Garden Street location, but Marshall expects that to change with the growing brewery operation. He said he will submit plans to the city in coming weeks for a manufacturing facility near the airport where the beer will be brewed.

Once SLO Brew moves out of its Garden Street space, Marshall will be able to start development of his Garden Street Terraces project there — a 93,425-square-foot commercial, residential and hotel development.

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