The Wheelhouse Brewery is planning a change of scenery from its iconic building in Cowbay to another historical location overlooking Prince Rupert’s Rotary Waterfront Park, next year.
During the winter months of 2020, the brewery’s owners secured a lease deal with the City of Prince Rupert for the now-defunct CN building, located at Rupert’s Landing.
“I’m worried and I’m excited,” James Witzke told The Northern View, on Sept. 16.
“We know that we created an experience down at the brewery … we know that the space is not going to be quite the same, but what we also know is that we’re going to offer an experience that’s going to appeal to a wider selection of people.”
The new location will feature not only beers but a select food menu and will be open to people of all ages.
The old train station will be renovated by the city at a cost of $4 million which is being paid for through the Northern Capital and Planning Grant Reserve. The grants were provided to the city by the Province.
The proposed restorations include replacing windows, adding a rooftop patio, restoring the cornice, adding skylights, repairing exterior brick siding, adding new exterior lighting, adding new exterior stairs, providing a new patio area with fencing, and providing extensive interior renovations to enable the operation of a brewery and food service.
Construction is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2022.
“This is the beginning of bringing Prince Rupert’s downtown and waterfront back to life”, Coun. Wade Niesh, told The Northern View.
He said it will also allow for parents and their children to enjoy an establishment at the waterfront with the brewery evolving into an all-ages restaurant as well.
“I think we’re all going to benefit as citizens of Prince Rupert because the city is going to get a building fixed up that has been an eyesore for years,” Niesh said.
Witzke said they are excited to create and be a cornerstone for the community at the waterfront.
“What we’re really excited about is being able to support that part of the community where there’s nothing there right now. There are no washrooms down there. So people’s experience is limited,” Witzke said. “Our values have always been strongly aligned with contributing to our community and, to me, this just another way for us to do that.”
Norman Galimski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View