As Englewood's Brew on Broadway prepares to close this month, with another brewery preparing to take over the space later in the summer, a pioneering chapter in the renaissance of downtown Englewood …
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As Englewood's Brew on Broadway prepares to close this month, with another brewery preparing to take over the space later in the summer, a pioneering chapter in the renaissance of downtown Englewood is ending.
Englewood Mayor Linda Olson says the Brew on Broadway, a brewery owned by Englewood's own Paul Webster, helped set the stage for a new vibrancy around the 3400 block of South Broadway.
“(Webster) did a terrific job of introducing a new kind of brewpub experience and broke down some barriers for others to follow,” said Olson.
The Brew on Broadway was more than a brewery to Englewood since it opened its doors in July 2013 — it was a community gathering place. Fundraisers and events were held for entities like Englewood Schools, the Englewood Historic Preservation Society and others. It helped open the doors for other businesses that have opened in Englewood's central commercial corridor along South Broadway.
Webster was one of the first business owners to take a chance on the area, and he will close his doors one last time on July 27. Brewability Lab, a brewery that employs people with disabilities, will take over the Brew on Broadway's space later this summer.
“(Webster) was one of the catalysts to allow others to see what was possible,” said Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce Executive Director David Carroll. The chamber works to help businesses in the city succeed.
Webster pointed to a number of factors as to why he is closing his brewery, including parking issues that escalated when an apartment complex was built in what had been a parking area behind his business. He also pointed to marijuana laws and a rise in rent prices that he believes took discretionary income away.
“It was a doable business plan, but then everyone else and their brother opened a brewery, and it changed the whole scenario,” said Webster.
While Webster will miss his customers, he believes the brewery will be in good hands with Tiffany Fixter, owner of the Brewability Lab. He says he is excited for his next chapter in which he plans to spend time with his son and wife.
“This is my town, and this is my community. I don't work here, and go home to the suburbs,” said Webster. “I can walk six blocks home. I did a good job at waking up Englewood.”
Webster is planning on having a going-away party at his brewery on July 27.
"I'm bummed. (Webster) is my friend. It's the neighborhood hangout," said Englewood resident Tice Bain. "Englewood didn't have a brewery before this."
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