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Half Acre's Plan For Huge Brewery, Restaurant in Bowmanville Gets Approved

By Ted Cox | August 20, 2015 3:56pm | Updated on August 25, 2015 11:02am
 Half Acre is moving to Bowmanville, and asking its new neighbors to approve a zoning change that would allow the brewery to add a restaurant and outdoor seating.
Half Acre's Expansion Plans
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CITY HALL — Remember Half Acre's plan for a new brewery, taproom, beer garden and restaurant in Bowmanville? It's finally moving forward.

The expanding Half Acre got the OK from the Plan Commission Thursday to open the new brewery at 2050 W. Balmoral Ave., which will operate "in addition to and in unison with" the existing location at 4257 N. Lincoln Ave.

The new location will, however, be considered Half Acre's "flagship," according to Sara Barnes, an attorney for the state's fifth-largest brewery.

Patty Wetli discusses Half Acre's plans moving forward:

The brewery is going into a previously vacant location for manufacturing in what's considered the Ravenswood Industrial Corridor, but it required Plan Commission approval as the proposed 8,400-square-foot tasting room, beer garden and full-service restaurant exceeds a 6,000-square-foot limit on such space.

Half Acre first announced its intention to move operations almost 18 months ago and went on to promise, "We won't be jerks."

The proposal passed the committee over objections from local residents concerned about noise from the beer garden and the booze-focused spot in a family-oriented neighborhood. Yet a representative of Ald. Patrick O'Connor (40th), who backed the project, testified that 90 percent of public response he received was favorable.

Commissioner Linda Searl cast the lone vote against the project.

"They're moving because they're growing," said Commissioner Patricia Scudiero, of the Department of Planning and Development. "That's a good thing."

The proposal advances to seek City Council approval.

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