A microbrewery could open in a rapidly developing area near the corner of Huger and Greene Streets if the Columbia Board of Zoning Appeals gives its approval on Tuesday.
According to documents filed with the city, Columbia Craft Brewing Co. would occupy a converted warehouse on the site that used to house Columbia Flag and Banner (now Columbia Flag and Sign Co., which has moved to West Columbia). The site also briefly served as the Columbia office of Marco Rubio's presidential campaign.
The microbrewery would include a 15-barrel brewing facility, tap room and an outdoor beer garden.
Columbia Craft's investor/partner — at least the one named in city documents — is Richard Strauss, a certified public accountant in Columbia.
The company has already trademarked the phrase “craft beer famously hopped” and a logo, according to a letter Strauss sent the city.
“We have also protected names such as … ‘Famously Pale,’ ‘Famously Gold,’ ‘Famously Stout,’ and ‘Famously Red’ for an initial lineup of beers,” the letter reads. Columbia Craft has also hired “an award-winning professional brewer.”
Under the proposal filed with the city, two existing buildings, which used to serve as the retail part of the flag shop, would be knocked down. The warehouse behind them, meanwhile, would be refurbished and converted into the brewery.
Under city ordinances, any proposed “drinking establishment” must seek permission from the zoning board. However, the business repeatedly stresses in its zoning application that it’s not a late-night bar, but a production brewery that would offer some tours and tastings during limited hours.
The facility would be a microbrewery, not a brewpub — state law makes a distinction — and while it might have some limited food offerings, dining would not be the focus.
The proposed site backs up to one student housing complex, Greene Crossing, and would be near several others. The Gamecocks’ baseball stadium is nearby.
Hospitality businesses in the area include Thirsty Fellow and Uncle Fester’s.