New tenant coming to vacant Mishawaka Brewing Company building - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

New tenant coming to vacant Mishawaka Brewing Company building

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For the past few years, you've probably driven down Main Street in Mishawaka and seen the sign for the Mishawaka Brewing Company, but you haven't been able to stop in for a brew or bite to eat.

Pretty soon, that's going to change thanks to a business looking to expand and for them, there was no better deal than Mishawaka's consumer corridor.

"Main Street Mishawaka is a great location," says VP of Operations for Evil Czech Brewery, Shawn Erickson.

Evil Czech Brewery in Culver is excited for a new business adventure, opening a second location at the Old Mishawaka Brewing Company, which he says has been vacant for five years.

It's a business plan the owner has already tested. They're the same people behind Corndance Tavern in Mishawaka. Now, it's time to expand the brewery because it's at capacity.

"We looked at Culver, we looked at a bunch of venues and we found a great spot in Mishawaka where we can open up another pub, and hopefully bring a new market," says Erickson.

The Evil Czech will offer a more casual dining experience for both lunch and dinner than Corndance, with a lot of slow-roasting on the menu. And of course, plenty of craft brew.

"We're so far into distribution, we can't keep up. We also want to get into packaging. We're going to do a full canning line out there. This is all going to be visible from the dining area," says Erickson.

Word of a new tenant for the Mishawaka Brewing Company is the latest in what seems to be a number of vacant buildings finding new life in Mishawaka.

Earlier this month, it was announced a Charter Fitness would fill the Old Barnes and Noble on Grape. And Whole Foods also filled an empty hole earlier this year.

"Pre- 2008 we were seeing announcement after announcement and the last 5 years have been a little slow and sluggish but all signs are pointing to things positive for the future up there," says President of the St. Joseph County Chamber, Jeff Rea.

Rea says the Main Street-Grape Road corridors have become one of the top retail-trade areas in the state.

Evil Czech is excited to keep the momentum going.

"It's gonna be a big win for Mishawaka," says Erickson.

Erickson says the Mishawaka Brewing Company will look a lot different when they're done with it.

Work started a couple weeks ago and the building will go under a complete remodel.

They're expecting to open in March or April, first just the brewery. The dining room will come later.

Erickson says they're independently owned and operated, so the money will stay right here in Michiana.

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