Valpo microbrewery growing, moving uptown

2011-08-10T18:30:00Z 2011-08-10T22:25:49Z Valpo microbrewery growing, moving uptownBy Phil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | Tom and Lynne Uban are brewing up a very successful business with their Figure Eight microbrewery, so they are moving uptown.

The business, now at 1555 Lincolnway, is taking over the former Sears automotive center at 150 S. Washington St. The Ubans got approval Tuesday from the city's Plan Commission for a $25,000 facade improvement grant. The request now goes to the City Council at its Aug. 22 meeting for final approval.

If it's approved as expected, Tom Uban said work will begin almost immediately with the goal of opening the new location by the end of the year.

"We outgrew this location pretty quickly," he said of the 1,400-square-foot location in a strip mall near the intersection with Clifford Road. "It was a pilot project to be sure our plan would be viable. The new location should suit us for the foreseeable future."

The new location has about 12,000 square feet of space, which will enable the Ubans to expand the tasting room seating from the current 20 to about 100 along with an outdoor seating area for about another 50.

"Over the next five years we plan to scale up production," Tom Uban said. "We expect to double it in the next year and grow from there."

He said he now sells his various microbrews to about 50 locations, ranging from liquor stores to restaurants, and plans to expand that as well with the additional capacity of the new location. He also plans to expand the food menu and add root beer to his offerings and have music occasionally.

The outdoor seating area will be recessed from the sidewalk on Indiana Avenue and have an awning over it. Windows will allow the outdoor patrons to watch the brewing process inside. A grain silo attached to the building will be visible on the Washington side of the building.

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