Saturday, July 2, 2011

INSIDE COLUMBIA: Plans historic do-over for empty Grindstone Brewery building

Historic preservation focus will emphasize original art deco structure and creative office space 
COLUMBIA, 7/2/11  (Beat Byte) --  In the battle between Columbia's lifestyle publications, Inside Columbia is chalking up a win over Columbia Home and Lifestyle
The Fred Parry-owned magazine has purchased the former Grindstone Brewery building where, "after extensive renovation, we will relocate our magazine offices" and in October, "open a new culinary center where guest chefs will offer cooking classes along with wine and beer tastings," Parry explained in a recent email.   "We're very excited to be able to delve more deeply into the food and wine business."   He also emphasized that Inside Columbia is hiring as it continues expanding. 
Located at 47 East Broadway next to Remax Realty, the brewery building has been an empty eyesore since the venture failed nearly six years ago.  Owner and founder Sam Chou shuttered the business shortly after a fire destroyed his home and sales began to sink.  
"Hard to believe that the building's been vacant for nearly six years," said Parry, who added that he plans to take "the exterior of the building back to art deco style, very similar to the way it looked when it first opened as Merkle Oldsmobile in the 1940's."   Inside, "original steel trusses and barrel-style ceiling will help create a very creative environment."
Former Columbia resident and historic preservation architect Brian Pape designed the original Grindstone Brewery. 
Inside Columbia's new cooking school, Culinary Adventures, "will offer cooking classes, wine tastings, beer tastings, etc. -- a core competency in our editorial format," Parry explained.  "We have a lot of work to do." 

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