A popular Las Vegas craft brewery is planning to expand production, and the growth could help redevelop a neglected space near downtown.
Tenaya Creek Brewery’s owner is completing the $1 million purchase of a warehouse on Bonanza Road where he hopes to soon open a tap room and brewery that would more than double the amount of beer he makes at his northwest Las Vegas site.
But besides elating Sin City’s beer connoisseurs, it could benefit a block that has decayed in the shadow of Fremont Street’s spectacle. Its deserted buildings and lots have served as eyesores for passersby and as a canvas for graffiti enthusiasts.
Tenaya Creek owner Tim Etter said he plans to open his new location in January or February in a 12,800-square-foot building at 831 W. Bonanza Road, just north of the Spaghetti Bowl and next to Interstate 15. It’s right across the street from the old Moulin Rouge property.
“When the new brewery is online,” Etter said, “we’ll be able to fulfill more demand for all of our existing markets and possibly expand to new markets as well.”
Patrons would be able to drink beer at the proposed location, but no food or other alcohol could be served because it’s zoned industrial.
Cara Clarke, senior director of communications for the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, said the planned move will benefit the community in many ways.
“That particular area has been one that hasn’t attracted a lot of new business development so I think it’s a positive sign,” Clarke said. “It’s not just the potential customers you attract, but when you expand your business, you add employees and those employees tend to bring some economic benefit to the area as well. They’ll go to lunch, they’ll pump gas, patronize the other businesses in that area.”
TENAYA’S NEW TURF
Built in 1954, the building — old by Las Vegas standards — which was a plumbing supply warehouse that has recently been vacant. At one corner of the space, a billboard post juts out, greeting I-15 motorists.
If Etter has his way, these same motorists could one day catch a glimpse of his brewery.
But there’s still work to be done.
Jace Radke, a spokesman for city of Las Vegas, said that Etter has yet to submit an application for a building permit.
Before Etter can begin construction, he needs to attend a pre-application meeting and submit a site development plan along with any special use permits, which must be approved by the Planning Commission and City Council.
Etter said he closed the real estate deal Friday. Etter said he met with the city Development Office and that he’s confident he will be able to operate his new business.
Clark County Assessor records list Ronald M. Hirahara of Honolulu as the previous owner of the property. Hirahara purchased building and land in 2004 from Keenan Properties, Inc. for $1 million according to the land title.
Hirahara described the neighborhood around the property as “kind of a sketchy area” and said that vandals had recently broken in and stolen copper pipes and wires.
“It’s probably going to enhance the area,” said Hirahara of the proposed brewery.
Renovations and equipment will cost more than $700,000, Etter said. That includes $400,000 for new brewing tanks and $65,000 for a cooling system to keep the beer cold. Installing fire sprinklers and restrooms are among the $200,000 worth of repairs that would bring the building up to code.
IDEAL FOR EXPANSION
Etter said the Bonanza building is the perfect spot for his company’s future: It’s closer to the Strip and downtown and it will allow him to meet growing demand for his brews.
Tenaya’s current location, on Tenaya Way south of Cheyenne Avenue, opened in 1999. About 70 percent of his patrons are local, Etter said. He often sees them arrive in cabs — an indication his brewery can pull from more obvious touristy spots.
But Etter doesn’t just want non-Nevadans coming to him. He wants his beer to go to them.
Now he can produce about 1,550 barrels a year. For comparison’s sake, that’s about 48,050 gallons or 511,500 12-ounce bottles of beer.
By 2014, he plans to push production to 4,000 barrels, which would make Tenaya Creek the Silver State’s second largest microbrewery. Right now Reno’s Great Basin Brewing Co. is No. 1, with 7,932 barrels produced in 2013. Tenaya Creek is No. 5.
Eventually, Etter hopes to build Tenaya Creek’s production capacity to 20,000 barrels a year
Tenaya Creek’s brews are distributed all over Nevada and as far away as Alberta, Canada.
Etter said he is not sure if he would keep both breweries open if the planned one is successful. If he closes the doors on Tenaya Way, he hasn’t ruled out selling it to another up-and-coming brewer.
In addition to the new brewery, Etter said he also “has a property in mind for a bar on Third Street” but that he’s focused on the Bonanza property for now.
Contact Alex Corey at email@example.com or 702-383-0270. Find him on Twitter: @acoreynews.