A local restaurant plans to mark its 25th year in business by adding a brewery with its own brand of craft beer.
A rezoning application to allow an on-site craft brewery at Stoke’s Bay Grill & Bar will go before city council April 16.
Customers are consistently requesting craft beer, said Chris Pavli, who owns Stokes with his brother Cory Pavli.
“We know it’s very popular and it’s something that is taking off,” he said.
The brothers are working with a consultant to establish the brewery once council approves rezoning and other permits are in place. They intend to hire a brewmaster and consult with customers in the development process.
“We want our customer base to feel involved so we’ll get customer opinion to help figure out what our staples will be,” Pavli said.
No exterior renovations are required but interior alterations are planned to accommodate the brewery in the restaurant’s southeast corner. The brothers intend to sell the beer to both bar customers and those who want to take some home, and need rezoning to accommodate retail.
Anyone wishing to speak on the rezoning application must notify the city clerk by April 11.
“Our goal is to start brewing this year,” Pavli said. “Our plan is to move as quickly as we can once zoning is in place. We’re already doing the design work.”
Stoke’s Bay Grill & Bar is located on Harbour Road and overlooks Centennial Park and Sarnia Bay.
Pavli said the timing is right for a new craft beer venture in Sarnia, with the park refurbished and open for special events and new developments announced including a $2-billion Nova plant, a new Holiday Inn Express & Suites, and a new Tricar apartment building downtown.
If approved, the Stokes craft brewery it will be the second of its kind in Sarnia. The Refined Fool Brewing Company launched in 2014 and is preparing to open a second brewery and pub on London Road in a few weeks.