Brewpub coming to downtown?

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Could a brewery or distillery be coming to downtown Rahway? It looks like a possibility.

The City Council introduced an ordinance last month that would amend the Central Business District (CBD) redevelopment plan to allow a brewery as a principal use, though city officials have been mum on any details so far.

Ordinance O-18-14 , which will come up for final approval and a public hearing at the July 14 council meeting, would amend the Central Business District Redevelopment Plan to allow as a permitted principal use in any district (in accordance with state alcoholic beverage law): a brew pub, micro-brewery or brewery; wine, wine blending or instructional wine-making facility, and distillery.

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In the meantime, the Planning Board last week approved the amendment to the redevelopment plan, which also is required. In 2013, a revised redevelopment plan was approved, consolidating some three dozen amendments to the plan made over the years while combining the CBD and Lower Main Street redevelopment plans.

Distilleries are on the rise, particularly in New York City and the Hudson Valley, even repurposing old buildings. Brewpubs often came up in discussion and polls in the early days of the blog, circa 2008, and we’ve often been strong proponents of a downtown brewery.

3 thoughts on “Brewpub coming to downtown?”

  1. As a retired high school Biology teacher I have no prior experience in planning, writing grants, or city budgets, but I am a citizen of Rahway who would love to see the downtown area be all it can be. Over the past 30 years I’ve watched businesses come and go, and most of them were, in my opinion, doomed from the start as they offered materials or services that did not appeal to the average person. That being said, there is one aspect of the effort to resurrect downtown that I believe we can do something about and that is to make Main, Irving and their intersecting streets more appealing. Unfortunately it requires funding, and that is where people more versed than I in locating that funding will have to pick up that ball and run with it. Rahway must attract businesses, but there are plenty of towns in the area where they can rent turn-key spaces with appealing facades on sidewalks lined with plantings,benches, etc. A facade theme on each street would render a mall- like uniformity, clean lines, and modernity to downtown. Whether the term “mall-like uniformity” appeals to you or makes your skin crawl, it would make downtown look clean and bright and new – in short, someplace where you’d like to walk, have dinner, and spend money. Yes we need businesses to rent empty spaces, but we need to make downtown’s streets into a place that someone wants to rent, and where people want to be. Secure funding for facades, benches, plantings, and all the trappings of a successful location, and success will follow.

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