Light the Lamp Brewery getting ready for new Grayslake location
Light the Lamp Brewery in Grayslake soon will be moving its production to another village building, the first phase of the beer maker's planned expansion.
Rehabilitation work continued Thursday on a 101-year-old building at 2 S. Lake St. in downtown Grayslake, where Light the Lamp will have a combined production facility, tap room and restaurant.
Co-owner Jeff Sheppard said he expects to shift the brewing side of the business from 10 N. Lake St. to the nearby Cupola Building in six to eight weeks. Light the Lamp's potential growth has been hampered by its current space, he said.
"We're going to pretty easily double our (beer) output," Sheppard said.
To accommodate Light the Lamp's expansion, Grayslake trustees recently approved a special-use permit allowing the business' wholesale microbrewing operation to be in the central business district. The ordinance also requires a restaurant at the new location.
Mayor Rhett Taylor said manufacturing typically is not allowed downtown, which is why the village board needed to approve a special permit.
"This is a unique use and is supporting a business that started in town," Taylor said.
Improvements to the Cupola Building are visible. They include a refreshed brick exterior facing Lake Street and a new roof.
Sheppard said Light the Lamp's tap room is expected to be ready shortly after brewing begins there. The restaurant will be the final part of the three-phase process.
"It's very exciting," Sheppard said.
Launched in 2012, Light the Lamp has had a production area and tap room, but no food offerings, at its 10 N. Lake St. location. The tap room has had a hockey theme befitting its name, but Sheppard said Light the Lamp hopes to attract a wider range of customers at its new home.
Plans call for Light the Lamp to distribute beer from the new facility to Chicago-area bars and restaurants. With more days devoted to making beer from the current one or two, Light the Lamp projects to double last year's 207 barrels.
Light the Lamp will mark the first time a brewery is based in the Cupola Building, built in 1916 for an automobile dealership and repair shop. According to "Grayslake: A Historical Portrait," published by the village's historical society, the Brandstetter family owned the building's first business.
Car businesses occupied the structure for roughly its first 50 years, followed by ventures such as a hair salon, a gymnastics center, a hardware store and a flea market. Light the Lamp intends to highlight that history for customers.