Following the success of their restaurant Locust The Local Room, which opened in 2020, owners Matthew Harris, Jimmy Molina and Matthew Klepp, along with their friend Christopher Kunkel, are excited to launch their next venture.
The Brewhouse, the highly anticipated brasserie at 175 Kennedy Dr. across from Locust City Hall, is set to open before the end of the month. The owners have invested approximately $1.2 million in the business.
The idea is for the brewery to be a fun, welcoming and relaxing place where people can come to relax and socialize with family and friends.
“Stanly County has been asking for a brewery for some time, so we’re very excited to finally be able to bring it to the community,” Molina said.
“I’m very excited for The Brew Room and their team,” said Locust City Administrator Cesar Correa, who first pitched the idea to Harris of opening a brewery while eating with his family at The Brewery. Local Room last year. “It was an amazing experience to see how much downtown has changed over the past few years. I believe this property, along with the ongoing residential development in the town center, will attract people from across the region to enjoy all that Locust has to offer.
What to expect
The brewery will offer 20 beers on tap, including several in-house rotating selections, as well as lagers, ciders, seltzers, wine and liquor options, and root beer for the kids. There will also be a full-service kitchen offering traditional bar snacks and lunch and dinner grab-and-go options, such as beer-battered fish and chips, hot dogs, tacos and tater tots.
The company is still hiring staff, but Harris plans to have between 30 and 35 employees.
Just like with The Local Room, the owners wanted the brewery to feature an open space concept where people could spread out and not get too crowded.
The 4,600-square-foot location, which seats about 100 people, features a variety of spaced-out wooden tables and a bar that spans most of the interior. There are also plenty of outdoor dining areas near the patio.
Interest in the new venture is clearly palpable: daily, community members regularly visit the space, eagerly counting down the days until it opens.
“We’ll have people walking through the garage doors and they’ll say (pointing to one of the bar seats), ‘That’s my chair,'” Harris said.
The business will help fill a need in the community as it will be the first brewery not only in Locust, but also in Stanly County (another brewery will open in downtown Albemarle in the coming months) .
“The concept is not just to come and drink beer,” Harris said. “It came and have fun. You don’t have to drink beer, you don’t have to drink anything. You can enjoy our food. You can come here for lunch, you can come here for dinner or anything in between.
Kunkel, who is the master brewer and will be brewing everything on site, is excited to introduce the community to new flavors.
“I’ve never brewed on a large scale like this before, but I have a backlog that’s mostly focused on pale ales, IPAs, stouts, brown ales, porters.”
The brewhouse will also help bring more people to downtown Locust, which continues to grow and expand, and the increased foot traffic should prove beneficial to nearby businesses.
“I think that’s going to be a big reason people really come here downtown,” said Klepp, a former Charlotte restaurateur who will operate the kitchen. “It’s nice to be at the start of what will end up being a super cool and unique place to come hang out, shop and live.”
The owners even had initial talks about one day franchising the brewery and opening additional locations around the county, as well as distributing their house beers to local restaurants.
“We’re not going to rule anything out at this point,” Harris said.
The brasserie plans to be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.