Port Washington’s Inventors Brewpub will break ground on its new brewery and taproom at 305 E. Washington St. on Thursday July 14, 2022 at 4 p.m.
The brewery, which currently occupies the former bottle washing house of Lakeside Brewery, founded in 1847, announced the new construction in December.
Its current home also served Port Washington Brewing Company and the Old Port Brewing Company.
The new 27,700-square-foot brewery, taproom and restaurant will have two stories and, according to owner founder Adam Draeger, “is being designed to gather sunlight during cold winter days while opening to the exterior during warmer weather. It will embrace the harbor, lake and the surrounding neighborhood while bringing additional visitors to the downtown throughout the year.”
It will also have a larger kitchen, a 250-seat events space, with 80 more seats on a mezzanine, a 240-seat restaurant and a 10-barrel brewhouse. There will also be bride and groom rooms that will also serve as green rooms for visiting performers like comedians and musicians.
“Downtown Port Washington is currently without a large meeting space for events like wedding receptions, conferences and indoor concerts,” says Draeger. “The loss of the Viking Room, Newport Shores and other iconic Port Washington venues has left a hole in the community and our current facility isn’t equipped to meet all the apparent needs.”
Developed along with TBF Development LLC. the building – designed by Milwaukee’s Striegel-Agacki Studio and built by West Milwaukee-based Peridot Construction Management (G.C., West Milwaukee) – will also have about 8,000 square feet of office space available for lease on the second floor.
Funding for the project, which Draeger says will increase the assessed valuation of the property by about $5.8 million, is from CIBM Bank, City of Port Washington TIF and RLF financing, a Wisconsin WEDC CDI Grant and a SBA/Wisconsin Business Development loan.
The facility is expected to be ready by next spring.
“The expansion of our business in Port Washington is intentional,” Draeger said in December. “We want to continue to be a Port Washington business, support our employees and grow our offerings for our existing and future customers. We will be growing a local business, increasing options in the downtown and becoming a Great Lakes destination.”
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.