ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – A former American Legion and VFW Hall in the Village of Orchard Park is getting a new lease on life- as a brewery, restaurant, and event space.
The team behind The Grange Community Kitchen in Hamburg and West Rose in Ellicottville, along with PJ Dunn, formerly of Thin Man Brewery, is behind the project.
The name hasn’t yet been announced, operating partner Brad Rowell said.
“When the building became available in Orchard Park, we kind of jumped on it,” Rowell said. “We’re all residents of the Southtowns, so doing something in Orchard Park was natural for us.”
Renovatations on the 1830s-era building are slated to start next week. The plans call for a bar with seating for about 125 guests and an event hall for large weddings and events, as well as a courtyard with fire pits.
The brewery will continue some traditions of the former hall, including a weekly bingo night and Bocce tournaments.
Rowell says the brewery will have a focus on traditional beer styles like pilsners and lagers, as well as a variety of IPAs.
“We want it to be a family-oriented brewery, so we’ll have some lower-ABV stuff, and just a bunch of fun stuff throughout the seasons,” he added.
The menu will be influenced by German and Belgian beer culture, with a sausage-focused menu.
Rowell says they’re looking to be open by the end of the year.
Although starting a new business during a pandemic can be nerve-wracking, Rowell says there’s a bright side.
“I think it’s a good time to be working on it- things are a little slower so you can focus on the plans,” he said. “When things are back to normal, we’ll be ready to go to have people join us.”
Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.