Beer and ale have been brewing at Druthers Brew Pub on Broadway as the new restaurant worked up to its opening.
The new craft brew pub has been under construction since March and opens today at 381 Broadway, just south of the former Shoe Depot, which is now home to another new business: The National, a men’s clothing store.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. with Mayor Scott Johnson, other city officials and members of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce participating.
The Broadway entrance to the business is narrow but widens into a 4,200-square-foot patio that is covered with cobblestones and has ample space for outside dining and live entertainment.
The 5,100-square-foot, three-story restaurant and brewing facility is about 100 feet in from Broadway, in the rear of the lot.
“We wanted to do it right. We are really pleased with the finished product,” said Brian Martell, one of the owners.
He said Munter Enterprises of Middle Grove was the general contractor for the new building. Spartan Woodworking of Ballston Spa has done the interior woodwork. All told, the project is worth $2 million and has been in the planning stages for more than a year.
Wood from an 1840s-era barn in Columbia County has been used to line the walls in the restaurant and bar, which will offer an “upscale pub menu,” according to Martell.
The menu will include “a lot of simple things done really well,” he said. The eatery and pub will open at 11 a.m. and the kitchen will serve food until 11 p.m. Closing times for the pub will vary but will be later that 11 p.m.
George De Piro, former brewmaster at the C.H. Evans Brewing Co. at the Albany Pump Station, is the brewmaster and a part owner of Druthers.
The stainless steel brewing vats are located on the building’s third floor and can be seen from the bar and restaurant through large windows.
The brew pub will open with four beers and ales on tap (All-In Pale Ale, Golden Rule Pilsner, Brevity Wit and Druthers’ Porter) but the offerings will be expanded to 10 beer and ale choices in the coming months. The pub will be able to produce between 2,000 and 2,4000 kegs of beer and ale each year.
Druthers (the name comes from the owners, who say “If I had my druthers, I would be brewing beer”) will be the only brew pub in downtown Saratoga Springs. The Saratoga Brewing Co. was once located on Phila Street but closed in 2004 and is now The Irish Times bar and restaurant.
The Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. on Excelsior Avenue in Saratoga Springs is a much larger brewery with a tap room serving the brewery’s products but not food.
“The region can use another brew pub,” De Piro said.
He said there were at least six brew pubs in the Capital Region a half-dozen years ago but half of them closed for one reason or another.
Others have since opened, though. There are now brew pubs in Troy, Schenectady, Albany, Glens Falls and Lake George.
The Martells said the cost of the brewing equipment is significant and the 15 partners in the business didn’t want to locate the equipment in a leased property. They purchased the site in 2010.
The partners include Brian Martell, whose title is chief pub officer; his brother Chris Martell, an attorney in Albany; De Piro; Victor Sosnowski, co-owner of Mayfair Jewelers; the Martells’ parents; and some smaller investors.
Druthers will employ about 45 people. The indoor restaurant seats about 100, and the patio, which is scattered with tables, will seat dozens more.