Doug Meyer had this idea brewing since he got his MBA last year from the University of Central Florida — and now, it’s close to becoming a reality in the Baldwin Park Village Center.
Meyer, a 26-year-old former U.S. Marine, is in talks with the Baldwin Park Village Center’s landlord to open a new brewery in space that previously housed interactive sports pub CaddyShanks, which closed earlier this year.
This would be a first brewery for the upscale, trendy 1,100-acre Baldwin Park community and a first physical location for Meyer’s Tactical Brewing Co.
“We’ve been partaking in festivals and tap takeovers in restaurants since November, but this business has been in planning for years,” Meyer told Orlando Business Journal. “We originally looked at east Orlando, in the Waterford Lakes and Avalon Park areas. But then I did more research into Baldwin Park and I just fell in love with it.”
If a deal is inked, Tactical Brewing would join several new tenants who signed up formore than 14,000 square feet of space in the last six months, including the new Meza Mediterranean Grill by the owners of downtown’s Cafe Annie and I-CE-NY Original Smashed and Rolled Ice Cream, a hot new “rolled ice cream” concept — which is all the rage in Thailand, as OBJ previously reported.
Along with those, Manny’s Original Chophouse signed a lease to take over the 7,216-square-foot lakefront Italian eatery Lago, which closed in 2012. This would be a second Central Florida location for Manny’s, which has a restaurant in the West 192 area of Kissimmee.
Dallas-based landlord Tabani Group since last May has been working with Terrence Hart, senior director of retail for commercial real estate brokerage Franklin Street, on retenanting parts of the 182,773-square-foot retail portion of the Baldwin Park Village Center. Tabani Group in 2013 bought the then-ailing, lender-owned piece of the project for $27.8 million, as previously reported by OBJ.
The new chophouse and brewery are expected to have a big influence on turning around the retail center, Hart told OBJ. It’s a project that for years has struggled to find its identity and keep a solid roster of tenants, though a few like the Publix grocery store and the popular Seito Sushi eatery remain successful, as OBJ previously reported.
“These [chophouse and brewery] are two big concepts that have the potential to change Baldwin Park,” Hart told OBJ. “I think the Baldwin Park Village Center has finally come to a point where it’s attracting really good users.”
Meanwhile, the still-growing craft brewery industry has a lot of potential for growth. Florida breweries produce about 1.2 million barrels of craft beer each year which creates about a $2 million economic impact in the Sunshine State, according to the most recent data from the Brewers’ Association.
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