Lake Mirror Site Will Remain a Brewery, New Owner Says

The building on Lake Mirror that housed the recently closed Lakeland Brewing Co. has a new owner who says he will do everything possible to make sure a brewery and taproom locates there.

“We think the highest and best use will continue to be a brewery,” developer Wesley Beck said. His 640 Main Partners LLC recently closed on a $1 million purchase of the property; it also owns vacant land just to the east where Beck plans to build a contemporary office building.

Local business leaders were told this week that Beck hopes to attract an experienced brewer such as Lakeland’s Brew Hub to the property at 640 E. Main St. Beck said today that it’s too early to name a partner.

Brew Hub CEO Tim Schoen said the company “continues to look at growth opportunities all over the country and even all over the world” and confirmed only that there’s been a discussion about a second Brew Hub tap room in Lakeland.

Brew Hub operates a co-brewing facility for craft beer makers at its Lakeland plant along Interstate 4 at 3900 Frontage Road S. in Beck’s Interstate Commerce Park. There is also a tasting room at the facility.

Last month Brew Hub opened its second location, a tap room in St. Louis that Schoen described as “higher end … with unique food and in a more urban and retail environment.”

As the craft beer industry has evolved, the company shifted away from earlier plans for a larger brewery outside St. Louis similar to the Lakeland plant, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported.

Lakeland Brewing Co. and Old School Annex closed its doors in January, two months shy of its third birthday in the renovated 1945 building on the north side of Lake Mirror. When it closed, The Ledger reported that co-owner Usman Faruq declined to give a reason except that a bank was foreclosing on the property.

Word that another microbrewery is slated for downtown brought a congratulatory tweet from Swan Brewing, which is opening a family-friendly tap room on Lake Wire April 20. “Pub crawl!” exclaimed the tweet from Swan Brewing, whose 115 W. Pine St. site is roughly six blocks away from the Lake Mirror building.