Big Plans for South Side Gathering Space
Plans for a microbrewery, coffee shop, and gathering space to be built south of Marshfield are in the early stages of development.
Hearing a need for a coffee shop on the south end of Marshfield, local entrepreneur Ben Wolf, 27, also entertained the idea of opening a microbrewery and combined the two together.
His plans for the facility include a brewery, taphouse, coffee shop serving nitro coffee and kombucha, performance stage, outdoor patio, drive-through (where unopened beer could also be served), art gallery, IT offices and a store to sell products through his company, ConstructInvo.
“The brewery itself will be focused on space, because there’s not really anywhere to hang out in Marshfield,” Wolf said. “I want people to be able to take their laptop, sit, and drink beer and coffee.”
The building would be constructed in the Mill Creek Business Park ideally beginning in October depending on availability of steel on the market. “We’ve been looking at buildings all over and nothing really worked, so that’s when we went to Boson Construction,” said Wolf. The business park will offer enough parking space for the plans, a major consideration, as well as opportunities for expansion.
An architect is currently drawing up plans for the estimated $1.2 million project. Wolf has yet to decide on a permanent name for the brewery, but an employee is already in the process of creating a few signature beers for the taphouse, which will feature other local beers as well.
“Some of it’s just thrown away, and some of them have turned out really well,” said Wolf. “I’m confident in what we can do.”
The beer and coffee will work together for special coffee beers – and beer-flavored coffee. The brewery will be viewable through a glass partition from the main area and will employ around ten people.
As for the coffee, don’t expect any Starbucks terms.
“I want to make sure we use proper terminology,” said graphic designer Kjersten Niskanen, who is also spearheading the coffee end of the business. “I want to bring back traditionally made coffee.”
That includes offering more exotic options like Turkish coffee, and modern ones, such as Nitro coffee.
Between the coffee and taphouse, the business will accommodate both morning and evening crowds. “I would love to have people there all the time,” said Wolf. “I want everyone to go and feel they’re welcomed.” He has no specific target age group but anticipates that everyone from teens to the older crowd will be able to find something to enjoy.
“If you’re not 21, you can still go there for the coffee or the tea, and you can go there for the art and music,” explained Niskanen.
With a goal of being artist-friendly, the space will include a stage that will regularly bring in new and experienced performers to share their talents, and an art gallery to feature local artists. Artists and musicians could have a chance to sell their CDs and products at the store. “We can help local artists get established, and get their artwork out there in the community,” she said.
As plans develop, Wolf is also entertaining the idea of building a space for a restaurant that could be rented out, but would not manage it himself. When the facility is completed, around 30-40 jobs will be created.
The response to the concept has been very positive. “Everyone that I talk to, they’re so excited about this,” said Niskanen. “Marshfield needs this.”
“I thought it would be harder to sell the idea, but everybody loves the idea of putting a brewery in Marshfield,” said Wolf. “Even people outside of Marshfield are asking – how do I become involved?”
The opening date for the facility will likely be next summer. In the meantime, it’s a slow process that requires a back-and-forth relationship with developers and the City, which granted a leniency in zoning requirements to build the brewery inside the Business Park. “They’re very accommodating,” said Wolf. “They’re upfront about what’s going on at their point of view and what they need to do on their side.”
With something for everyone, he is optimistic about the success of the concept.
“It’s a good mix,” he said.