Brew Hub Taproom to takeover empty restaurant space on Oakland Ave.

Brew Hub Taproom to takeover empty restaurant space on Oakland Ave.

If you travel I-64 eastbound you’ve seen it.  The giant sign “Restaurant Space Available,” attached to the building that sits adjacent to the Hampton Inn hotel property on Oakland.  Some might say the property at 5656 Oakland is cursed, as nothing has been able to succeed here.

If memory serves, when the property was developed, the first restaurant to occupy this space was Krieger’s Sports Bar, followed by the Highlander, and then a short-lived barbecue restaurant.  Since then the property has remained vacant.   Till now.

Today, Brew Hub, the award-winning craft brewer and partner brewer for several of the most popular names in craft brewing, announced it will open a taproom.

The location will feature beers from Brew Hub’s own collection including Keybilly Island Ale, Diver Down Red Ale and Rome City IPA, which was awarded a gold medal in the Session India Pale Ale beer-style category at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival. The Brew Hub Taproom will also serve beers from the company’s 14-plus partner brewers, marking the first time these and several additional craft brands will be available in St. Louis.

In addition to the 20 beers on tap, the location will include a full-service kitchen offering lunch and dinner. The Taproom will feature a 4-barrel pilot brewing system, a distilling operation, and a barrel-aging program, under the direction of Brew Hub’s chief brewer Jim Ottolini. This set up will allow the Brew Hub team, its partner brewers, and other local brewers the ability to work on unique and nontraditional batches in a small and intimate setting. The Brew Hub Taproom is scheduled to open early February 2018 and will operate Tuesdays through Sundays.

“Brew Hub will offer local beer enthusiasts access to dozens of craft beers from around the country found nowhere else in St. Louis or the Midwest,” said Diane Schoen, vice president of marketing of Brew Hub. “We considered several locations for our Taproom and this is the ideal spot. There’s a great mix of residential, hotel and office tenants within walking distance of our front door, and being near Forest Park and other great St. Louis attractions sealed the deal.”

Andy White, a 25-year St. Louis culinary veteran who has worked at The Ritz-Carlton, Harvest, and Schlafly, will serve as the chef and general manager of the restaurant and tasting room which seats 120 guests. The Taproom will also feature a 30-seat, dog-friendly patio. The menu, developed by White, will consist of shareable small plates and heartier fare with ingredients sourced from local farms.

“As someone who grew up in this neighborhood, I couldn’t be more excited to be involved with the Brew Hub Taproom,” said White. “Our food is going to walk in harmony with the quality craft beers we’ll have on tap, and I look forward to working with the great talent and purveyors we have in our city to provide guests with a memorable experience.”

Local handcrafted furniture maker Rustic Grain is building custom tables, bars and architectural accents for the space fabricated with reclaimed lumber from Missouri and Illinois farms to give the space a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Brew Hub’s first brewery and Tasting Room is located in Lakeland, Florida, and opened in 2014. At this 100,000-barrel brewery, the company brews its own beers as well as for a variety of notable and award-winning craft brewers including Toppling Goliath, J. Dub’s Brewing, M.I.A. Beer Company, Blackberry Farms Brewing, Orange Blossom Brewing, High Heel Brewing, Booth Brewing, Big Bend Brewing, Parish Brewing, Palmetto Brewing and Crooked Can Brewing.

“The Brew Hub Taproom will serve as an ideal location for our partner brewers as they look to introduce their brands to St. Louis and the region,” said Tim Schoen, CEO of Brew Hub. “Our team is focused on providing outstanding service for our guests, and we look forward to bringing more great beers to our hometown.”