In downtown Brownwood, Teddy’s Brewhaus and the Pioneer Tap House — located in buildings that are under renovation and just blocks from each other — are expected to open later this summer.
Micah Haynes, who with his wife Ashley owns what will be the Pioneer Tap House on Baker Street, said he anticipates opening in mid-to-late July.
Jeff Tucker said his Teddy Brewhaus brewery — which will be located in the former Weakley-Watson Sporting Goods store at Fisk and Baker — is aiming for a late July opening.
Pioneer Tap House
“I’m ready for it to be open,” Jaynes, a 31-year-old entrepreneur, said as he stood inside the building that’s shaping up to become the Pioneer Tap House’s future home.
Jaynes and his wife are leasing the building, which remains under renovation.
Jaynes said it’s his understanding the building started out as a bank owned by Brownwood pioneer Brooke Smith, and later housed businesses including a grocery store and leather shop. The building also became a meeting place for the Knights of Pythias, he said.
The tap house, which will have craft beer and local wine, will have seating for 85 to 90 and will include outdoor seating, Jaynes said. It won’t have a kitchen but a food truck will be available, he said.
Jaynes said the business is not going to be intended as a bar for people to come get drunk. Jaynes said he wants the tap house to have “a community vibe” and be a place where people get to know each other.
“The entire downtown is about to burst out the seams and come alive,” Jaynes said. “I definitely don’t want a bar vibe.”
Jaynes and his wife moved back to Brownwood from Cisco to be part of the recently established Brownwood Community Church.
Jaynes worked for a time in sales and distribution for the Cisco-based Red Gap Tap House. “I always called them the Chick-fil-A of beers,” Jaynes said, noting the company’s “great moral climate.”
Jaynes decided to open his own tap house in Brownwood and chose the name Pioneer for several reasons. He said it’s a nod to the pioneering spirit of Brooke Smith and symbolic of his desire to “pioneer a business.”
Jaynes said the Bible does not prohibit drinking alcohol but prohibits the abuse of alcohol. He said some want Christianity to be “legalistic. It’s about following Jesus,” Jaynes said.
Tucker, who bought the former Weakley-Watson sporting good building in April 2018, said the brewery, which will include a full service restaurant, will open in late July “if everything goes well.
“We’ve had some setbacks, some due to weather,” Tucker said. “A couple of months ago half our roof got taken off by ether a tornado or a strong wind. We had to go back in and redo a bunch of stuff.”
Tucker said he named the brewery in honor of Teddy Roosevelt.
Kitchen appliances have been installed in what will be the kitchen, located in the rear section of the big building. By day, the kitchen will be home to an artisan bakery, and will serve the brewhaus by night, Tucker said.
He said he anticipates the 18,000-square-foot building will accommodate 400 people, and a beer garden outside can do the handle the same number.
“If we do an event, we can subdivide the building based off of what the event needs are,” Tucker said.
When asked if he views the nearby Pioneer Tap House as competition, Tucker said, “I don’t see him as the same business as ours. We will be a manufacturer of craft beer and also a full service restaurant, but also an event center. “There will be a lot of different things we do here that frankly they can’t do in a 2,000-square-foot area. Our area is about 18,000 square foot … so we’re two different businesses.
“The whole reason we’re here is to revitalize downtown,” Tucker said. “This business right here alone, when we get it completed, will change this town in a positive way. There will be people who come to this because it is a brewery and they want to taste our micro beers and they want to see what kind of food we’re producing."
Tucker said his business will be able to push traffic toward other businesses including the Turtle. and the Pioneer Tap House.
“I’ve had three people that have opened businesses just next to this building because we’re here,” Tucker said. “Drop a rock in a pond and you see the ripple. It is ‘a tide rises all boats.’”
Tucker said he wants the Pioneer Tap house to do well.
“But we’re going to do our thing and we’re going to focus on our business, and we know that will attract tourism and we know that it’ll bring traffic to town,” Tucker said.
“The ultimate goal for me as a businessman is to see multiple development happening downtown. The Hen House just opened up over here across from us. They moved their location to a downtown area because they also see the forward thinking traffic.”
Sidewalk improvement project continues
Ray Tipton, executive director of the Brownwood Municipal Development District, noted that work continues on a sidewalk improvement project on Baker Street and Milton Avenue.
The project, which takes in the area where the Pioneer Tap House, Teddy’s Brewhaus and another developing business are located, includes the installation of light posts.
With the development of new businesses along Baker Street, there is a need for improvements to sidewalk and lighting to improve aesthetics and allow better access to the businesses, Brownwood City Council members were told earlier before approving the project.