KINGSLEY — There’s a lot of new business brewing in Kingsley.

Not only is the The Kingsley Inn set to reopen for Super Bowl weekend or the following week, but the village is scheduled to get a second gathering place with the long-awaited opening of the Kingsley Local Brewing Company.

The Kingsley Inn, located at 211 E. Main St., and the Kingsley Local Brewing Co., a short distance away at 121 Brownson Ave., will give the village two different places to gather for a meal or a beverage.

The Workshop Brewing Company founder and owner Pete Kirkwood said in a Wednesday text message that they “are beginning to make concrete plans for opening in the coming weeks ...”

Max Anderson, chair of the Kingsley Downtown Development Authority, said the opening of the Kingsley Inn and the Kingsley Local Brewing Co. are in response to the needs of village and area residents. Anderson said this is important to long-term success.

“It’s exciting and there’s more stuff on the horizon in Kingsley,” Anderson said. “The downtown is changing, but it’s something all of us are trying to do with what’s been expressed by the community.

“It’s not something that we’re doing unilaterally.”

Community support is something Kirkwood has already seen when he first decided to open a second location to the Workshop Brewing Company at 221 Garland St. in Traverse City.

The Kingsley Local Brewing Co. had hoped to be open in September 2022 after moving a 30-foot piece of walnut weighing more than 700 pounds down a street and into the business in July.

Fifteen volunteers — most wearing flannel as a nod to the town’s lumber mill past — moved the bar into place in a “parade” organized by former village manager Dan Hawkins.

“They say many hands make light work,” Kirkwood said for a July 13, 2022 Record-Eagle article. “That’s a 740-pound bar of something that was effortless for this many people. What better embodiment of our community values could you have then a whole bunch of people coming together just because we asked them to to help us and just joyfully lifting up a bar together and bringing it into town.

“I hope that’s a symbol of what our future of our business is here and the future of Kingsley in general.”

Kirkwood has long-said Kingsley Local Brewing Co. promises to be much more than a bar with seating at tables and another dozen in front of the walnut slab. An outdoor beer garden provides another space to gather.

“We want to be a place for community to come together,” Kirkwood said for the July 2022 article. “One of the thing that’s core to our mission in Traverse City is we want to be a venue where culture happens in real time, where human beings interact face-to-face with other human beings. We think that’s a very healthy thing for a community to have those kind of places where you encounter people that you know and people that you don’t know and get different points of view and interesting conversations.”

Kirkwood said its one of the reasons he tasked his staff to create a non-alcoholic beer before the Kingsley opening.

“We know this is a small town and there aren’t necessarily a ton of options for people who want to go out and enjoy themselves, spend time with their community members here,” Kirkwood said in July. “I didn’t want people that are trying not to drink for whatever reason, I didn’t want them to be excluded from that. I wanted everyone to be able to join the party.”

Kingsley Inn co-owners Brian McAllister and his son, Max, said they have already had discussions with Kirkwood about future collaborations between the two new businesses. Plans are also in place to have a phone at Kingsley Local Brewing connected to Papano’s Pizza across the street, which would deliver food to hungry patrons.

“I believe that Pete and Brian will have a very cooperative and collaborative relationship,” Terry Beia, the managing member of Southtown Property Management, LLC, said in an email. “There is ample room for both in this thirsty community.”

Acoustic Tap Room co-owners Susan Prescott and Bruce Grossman, who are moving in August from 119 N. Maple St. in Traverse City to 17140 Honor Highway in Interlochen, are also looking to open a second location in Kingsley. Grossman said the business is currently “going through all the formal hoops” in Kingsley for a suitable location.

Southtown Property Management LLC owns 12 buildings in downtown Kingsley, Beia reported. He said it represents bout 50% of the commercial property.

Beia said in a text message that Southtown is in the final stages of negotiation to bring a tenant to the former J. Wall Diner space at 413 W. Main St. Beia said a spring opening is planned.

While February and this spring seem like a big time in Kingsley, Beia said in an email there has been “incredible momentum in the village actually dating back to the pandemic.”

Beia said there is even more to come.

“We are also getting more interest from Traverse City businesses looking to either relocate or open additional locations in Kingsley,” he said in an email response to several questions. “Much of that interest is fueled by the local population growth and increasing popularity of the village.

“Costs are obviously a factor as well. Commercial rates are roughly 1/2 the price per sq/ft on Main St. Kingsley compared to Front St. TC. Housing costs are significantly lower and it’s really only 15-20 minute commute to and from TC.”

Beia said Southtown is also “in the very early stages of working with the management of Kingsley Lumber to find a suitable upgraded property to relocate their operation and free up that valuable downtown parcel.”

“I predict really positive things ahead for Kingsley,” Beia said in the final sentence of his email.

Trending Video

Recommended for you