New downtown brew pub will take Capitol Roasters' space
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ann Saville's new Quarrier Street brew pub will expand into the corner space occupied by Capitol Roasters, the owner of Taylor Books said Wednesday.
Capitol Roasters, which opened a little more than 10 years ago, will close at the end of the month, spokesman Dave Durbin said. The business also recently closed its kiosk at Capitol Market after its lease expired, Durbin said.
Durbin and Saville met Wednesday with Charleston Urban Renewal Authority board members to discuss lease arrangements for the deal. CURA acts as landlord for the retail spaces on the first floor of the city-owned parking garage at the corner of Quarrier and Summers streets.
Capitol Roasters has several years left on the five-year lease it holds with CURA, Durbin said. "We would assign the lease. It has options to renew," he said.
After discussing the issue in executive session, CURA board members voted to approve the lease assignment.
Saville said she's been working on the expansion plan for a couple of months. The space she leased turned out smaller than she envisioned, she said, after carving out room for the on-site brewery.
"We're breaking through the wall where the fireplace was," she said. "We'll be able to expand our seating area and have a meeting room. Otherwise, it would have been very crowded."
The deal with Capitol Roasters will nearly double the size of the brew pub, and greatly expand the dining area. The original storefront has 3,313 square feet, while Capitol Roasters has 2,946 square feet, CURA Director Jim Edwards said.
The Durbins previously closed the Capitol Roasters kiosk at Capitol Market after market management declined to renew the one-year lease, Durbin said. The kiosk sold coffee drinks, sandwiches and coffee beans roasted on-site.
That closing was separate from the downtown location, which opened in January 2003, Durbin said.
"It just happened this way. The lease was up. They terminated the lease. We closed at the end of January," he said. "As that was closing, we were approached about this. We think it was a good synergy."
Saville and Durbin were involved in a legal dispute more than a decade ago over a deal that made Durbin's company the manager of Taylor Books' coffee operations. Saville sued Durbin in 2000, and the dispute was settled the following year.
Durbin said the latest move comes as his wife, who has managed both Capitol Roasters locations, wants to pursue other interests. Tammy Durbin is a former director of Charleston Renaissance Corp. and has worked with the state Development Office, her husband said.
"Tammy has a degree in marketing. ... She has a wealth of experience in economic development," he said. "With all that happening, she felt this was a good time to explore other opportunities."
Tammy Borstnar, the market's executive director, said she's been advertising for business proposals to fill at least two vacant spots.
"We've received several business plans," she said. "There's a lot we can do. The space left by Capitol Roasters can be divided, and the space between the wine shop and Purple Onion -- a former cupcake bakery -- that's an option.
"We'd love to have a coffee shop. That's always on our wish list. We've gotten proposals from other cupcake bakeries. We're also open to something outside the box -- food, food related. A juice bar or smoothie bar, a sushi bar, something with already prepared foods, a health-food store, a lifestyle store. We'd like to fill the space as quickly as possible."
Saville, meanwhile, is busy getting the brew pub ready for business. The main brewing mechanism arrived this week and was being installed Wednesday, she said.
The opening date remains on track for this spring, she said, probably the first weekend in April.
Reach Jim Balow at email@example.com or 304-348-5102.