By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium
SAWYER — Greenbush Brewing Co. has grown exponentially in the nearly five years it has been in business.
That growth will continue this summer as the brewery’s owner, Scott Sullivan, announced in a Facebook post Greenbush acquired Fitzgerald’s of Sawyer as part of its next expansion.
Fitzgerald’s and Greenbush are next door to each other in the restored historic buildings in downtown Sawyer.
“We realized that we had originally thought that (when) we opened (the) Taproom that would work for the long haul, but then pretty much immediately found that we lacked space,” Sullivan stated in the Facebook post. “So we expanded. Not enough space. So we expanded again. Still not enough space. So we opened (the) Annex, figuring that would take care of the space issue, right? Nope.”
In the newly acquired Fitzgerald’s space, Sullivan said he is bringing the next iteration of food as part of the “diner portion” of Greenbush.
The new space will take the best of Greenbush’s brunch menu with breakfast classics added in. At a 7 a.m. start time, Greenbush will begin selling breakfast food through the early afternoon. Greenbush had hosted a few brunch sessions the last few years and chose to offer breakfast food based on the popularity of those sessions.
Greenbush marketing dirctor Aaron Darling said the plan is to keep the original Taproom cooking and brewing with a southern-centric focus.
Offering several “blue-plate specials” for dinner in the diner expansion, Darling said they will offer bacon-wrapped meatloaf, Yankee pot roast, chicken paprikas and more.
In addition to the expansion, Greenbush will sell cider and wine at all three locations. Darling said the wine will come from local and California wineries.
Darling said 41 people were hired in anticipation for Greenbush’s summer opening at the former Fitzgerald’s restaurant and bar.
The diner portion of Greenbush should open sometime in June to coincide with the brewery’s five-year anniversary. On June 10, Darling said Greenbush will hold a large anniversary party.
“We’re hoping that by mid-June we can hold a soft opening for breakfast, just as a start,” Darling said. “After that, it should be open full time for sure this summer. But you can never put a hard date on things like this. With our Annex, we were waiting on licensing for a few months.”
After eight years serving Harbor Country and its visitors, Fitzgerald’s made a Facebook announcement it would close and hand over reins to Greenbush.
When Fitzgerald’s first went up for sale two years ago, Darling said several people came by asking if they were going to buy the property. Two years ago the timing wasn’t right because Greenbush had already opened the Annex across from the Taproom, Darling said.
“It became apparent over time that Fitzgerald’s would be the perfect fit,” he said. “Initially, Greenbush was going to be a small taproom. Sullivan and others would serve (customers) the beer, talk about it and go brew more beer. That lasted maybe a day.
“I think it was beyond our expectations.”