More emphasis on the brew, less on the food.
That’s how it’ll be at Geaux Brewery’s future digs, its owner hopes, in no more than 60 days.
That’s about all Jeremy Hubbell can say at the moment on the future of his brewery, now caught between its present home on East Main and its home-to-be, at 3205 C St. NE, north of the Auburn Municipal Airport.
“It all depends on the permitting process,” Hubbell said of opening day. “I’m hoping that it’s 60 days or less, but, realistically, if we run into any snags, it may push us back to the beginning of October. We’re still hoping we can stay for as long as possible at the Main Street location and continue to be open.
“Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 situation we’re going through, we just don’t know. We don’t know if we’re all going back into lockdown and we’ll be doing take-out again. At the same time, that’s also kind of a blessing in disguise because if it does happen, we can do lots of work in the taproom on Main Street to get things moved over here quickly because we won’t be open to the general public. But obviously, we will not be generating the revenue that we need, either,” Hubbell said.
Geaux-to-be provides Hubbell 7,000 square feet of interior space, spread out over two stories, and an additional 1,500 square feet outside, lots of ground for re-imagining.
Like an upstairs bar, he is reusing the wood that formed the one on East Main.
“I’m really thankful about that because it’s a really nice bar,” Hubbell said of the exotic top, made from 1,000-year-old wood fetched from swamps outside of Baton Route, La.
And one bathroom for men and another for women, unlike how it is now on East Main
And a room for people to chill, called “The Library” replete with leather sofas.
“We’re looking to cut a hole in that wall there to let people watch the planes and bigger turboprops go by, which will be kinda cool,” Hubbell said, indicating a south facing wall that overlooks the north end of the runway of the Auburn Municipal Airport.
Hubbell and his crew have already moved the brew tanks and related equipment to the new site.
“Anything that generates noise and ruins the vibe of the place, we’ll put it outside,” Hubbell said with a nod to the chiller.
Geaux has offered its own home-brewed beers on East Main Street in Auburn since 2017, complemented by a brew house, a New Orleans-themed taproom, a kitchen and a family-friendly restaurant.
“We’re in the process of moving, but the Main Street location will remain open for the foreseeable future. It really just depends on the landlord and his willingness to work with us,” Hubbell said.
Why the move from downtown Auburn?
“There’s actually one really good reason, aside from other issues: they’re remodeling the entire building, When they did construction to build out the Olympic Sports and H&R Block spaces, that really impacted our business, to the tune of about 15 percent of our revenue. Think about it, that was happening on another part of the lot, and it hit us. Now, the landlord is talking about pulling out the entire façade on our end, including the windows and sidewalks and everything. Really, it’s just impossible to operate a restaurant if you don’t have windows,” Hubbell said.
Also, the wall between his present space and the former beauty school is moving at some future date, and Hubbell saw this as the perfect time for a move.
One consequence of operating between two worlds is that, while the present site is open, Hubbell will be kegging up the suds where they’re brewed south to the Main Street site.
“We’re definitely going to keep Main Street open as long as possible, and we’ll make it very clear to people when that shuts down. Maybe there’ll be some overlap, maybe not, maybe we shut down for a few weeks for the final move, we don’t know yet. That’s a huge question mark right now.
“We’ve had to figure this out on the fly. This is not something we spent many months planning for. This is something that was foisted upon us, and we had to deal with it and figure it out. For better or for worse, since we already did this three years when we moved from Bellevue, we’re probably in a better place to do this now because we have all the equipment that we need. We’re just transporting it over here, resetting it in its new spot and away we go.”