Pollyanna Brewing Co. to open 3rd location in St. Charles
A downtown St. Charles building overlooking the Fox River has been on Ryan Weidner's radar since he co-founded Pollyanna Brewing Company several years ago.
That site at 106 S. Riverside Ave. is now being transformed into the brewery's third suburban location, expected to open this fall with 24 taps and a focus on barrel-aged craft beer.
An extensive interior and exterior renovation is under way at the vacant property, which previously housed Chord on Blues. Pollyanna will take over about 5,700 square feet in the southern portion of the building, and an upscale sports bar, Flagship on the Fox, is moving into the remaining space, said property owner Conrad Hurst of Frontier Development, LLC.
Pollyanna launched its first brewery in Lemont in 2014 with the intention of expanding to other suburban towns, said Weidner, the chief financial officer. The company opened its Roselle site in 2017.
Hoping to bring the concept to the area where he lives and is raising a family, Weidner started discussions with Hurst over the Riverside Avenue building last year, he said. It wasn't long before the pieces fell into place.
"It always made a lot of sense for us to be in the heart of St. Charles. It was kind of the perfect time and place to make it happen," he said. "My ties (here) make it very special for me to bring the business that I created elsewhere into the community I call home."
Pollyanna Brewing was granted a liquor license from the city last month and now is seeking federal and state approval.
The company also is requesting permission from St. Charles to construct an outdoor patio where patrons can enjoy their beverages when the weather is favorable. The move would require an agreement with the city, as well as an amendment to the liquor code, because the patio would encroach on public property, police Chief James Keegan said.
St. Charles currently only allows alcohol to be served and consumed on the city's right of way within the First Street business district and during special events. The proposed change would give officials the flexibility to expand those privileges to licensees in other parts of the city, Keegan said.
The liquor control commission on Monday supported the code amendment, as well as a site modification for Pollyanna. The two measures will be considered by the government services committee next week before going to city council.
Though it won't have a kitchen, Pollyanna will allow customers to bring their own food into the taproom, which could lead to some collaboration with the neighboring Flagship on the Fox and other area restaurants, Weidner said. The brewery also has been in talks with the Blue Goose Market over selling packaged snacks and charcuterie to customers.
The company also plans to offer various entertainment, including live music, trivia and tastings.
"We'll be creating a craft experience for our customers," Weidner said.