South River council looks to fill space occupied by former South River Brewing Co

The Village of South River has begun the process of finding a new business to fill the building once occupied by the South River Brewing Co.

Clerk Administrator Don McArthur says the municipality is calling for Expressions of Interest to take over the 8,112 square foot building located at 309 Highway 124.

McArthur says the deadline to submit Expressions of Interest is April 24th after which town council will evaluate the proposals with a goal of negotiating an agreement with a potential proponent within 60 days.

South River Brewing Co moved into the Highway 124 commercial building in 2016 when it was still known as Highlander Brewing Company.

It was only a few years ago that it underwent a name change, but it was still owned by the same people.

South River Brewing Co closed for good on February 29th.

In a Facebook post, co-owner Dwayne Wanner said the last four years have been exceedingly difficult for the brewing company, and the decision was made to close.

The building is relatively new and was built where the Happy Landing Esso station gas stop stood years earlier.

McArthur says it was built by the municipality with a brewery in mind in 2016.

The brewing equipment, which is state-of-the art and continues to be owned by South River Brewing Co, remains in the building, and McArthur says ideally it could be occupied by another brewer.

“The building is well suited for that, and it's certainly an option that council would like to see,” McArthur says.

However McArthur said “council is interested in all proposals” adding the key to a successful Expression of Interest is that the proposal is complementary to the lifestyle of the Village of South River and that it visually enhances the entrance to the community.

In addition to the area that holds the brewing equipment, the building has a 1,000 square foot hospitality/event space and a retail section that is nearly 500 square feet in size.

The municipality is open to either leasing the building to a successful applicant or selling it.

McArthur says appointments can be made to view the building.

The Village is promoting the Expression of Interest on its website at https://southriver.ca/uploads/documents/Notices/REI%2001-2024%20309%20Hwy%20124%20-%20Final.pdf.

McArthur says people in the brewing industry know the building is available and adds “there has been some interest” in it.

Additionally, McArthur says the real estate network is also aware of the building's availability.

McArthur says if the current Expression of Interest endeavour doesn't result in any offers, then town council may have to further expand its advertising method of promoting the building.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget