Business Intel: Wasena redevelopment brings Olde Salem Brewing to Roanoke

Business Intel: Wasena redevelopment brings Olde Salem Brewing to Roanoke

The redevelopment of a Wasena property is bringing beer, pizza and Airbnb units to the Roanoke neighborhood.

Olde Salem Brewing Co. plans to open a second location at 826 Winona Ave. S.W., said developer Sean Kosmann, who is also a partner in the brewery. The property is just off Wasena’s Main Street, which has flourished over the last few years.

Kosmann said he’d also recently struck a “verbal handshake agreement” with a Northern Virginia pizza business that will also operate in the space.

The upper level of the building will house two Airbnb units, Kosmann said.

“I think overall the location is phenomenal,” he said. “I think Wasena is one of the niche areas in Roanoke city that’s currently going through a lot of renovation and upgrading. People are flipping houses down there, the businesses are starting to come back into play down there.”

Sean Turk, owner of Olde Salem, said the Wasena property offered a chance to expand into a new market.

“We do a lot of distribution to restaurants in Roanoke, so being able to have our own spot where people can walk and enjoy our atmosphere will be great,” he said, noting the foot traffic in the neighborhood.

Turk said the brewery, which has a five-barrel brewhouse in Salem, is planning on a one-barrel system for Wasena, which he likened to a “glorified homebrew system.” He said the smaller size will allow for experimentation with new recipes.

“We’re not trying to do anything crazy, just open a small spot where we can share our beer with new people and just build slowly,” Turk said.

Kosmann said he wanted to have food on site because there are only a handful of dining options in the neighborhood and pizza complements beer well.

Customers will be able to sip beers and snack on slices both indoors and out. Kosmann said there will be an island-style bar inside and another bar at a garage door that can be rolled up to serve patrons outside.

Kosmann said he expects the interior will seat 20 to 25 people, making it smaller than Olde Salem’s flagship.

The goal is to begin renovations in February, Kosmann said, and open the brewery in June.

For those unfamiliar with Olde Salem, which opened in November 2017, Turk said it’s known for a willingness to “push the envelope.” Its sour beers are particularly popular, but the brewery offers a wide variety — 167 beers in its three years, he said — to appeal to any patron.

“There’s always the option to try something new, but also there’s always something familiar there,” Turk said.

Full Article with Pictures from Casey Fabris with The Roanoke Times >>>