Joe Urban | Sam Newberg, Urbanist

The Ultimate Third Place, a Community Supported Pub – The Smokehouse Brewpub

Dateline: 10:29 am September 28, 2011 Filed under:

The ultimate third place is not only a wonderful place besides home and work in which to hang out and meet neighbors, but also one in which you have a vested, financial interest. So allow me to introduce the Smokehouse Brewpub , a restaurant and microbrew pub planned for the old Oak Furniture space at 28th Avenue and 38th Street in Minneapolis.

The Smokehouse is not unlike other restaurants popping up around this and other cities that make and serve their own beer. What makes it unusual is the ownership is allowing people who put cash down now to get free beer for life. $1,000 does just that, or you can put multiples of $1,000 down in return for fractional silent ownership shares. I chose the free beer, and hopefully a brick with my name on it on the patio as well!

Community Supported Agriculture gets you a share of farm produce each week, and cooperative grocers offer discounts for owners, so why wouldn’t it work for a pub? We’ll see, but the owners have already raised more than two-thirds of the $160,000 they need for the financing to work. I look forward to its opening, not just for a watering hole within walking distance (one block from my home!), but I really love the idea of my neighbors being able to join me in investing in our community. A successful restaurant at this location will stabilize an attractive but aging mixed-use brick building, anchor a corner struggling with vacancy, provide more eyes on a street a little too dominated by vehicle traffic, and give the neighborhood a third place for neighbors to meet, interact and form community bonds.

The Smokehouse has generated a lot of press, including this article in the Star Tribune, this feature on Kare 11 News and in Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine online.

The Smokehouse is planned to open in Spring 2012. There is still time to invest and be a founding member. Let’s hope it works and that ours and other neighborhoods may be provided with a template to invest in more sustainable communities.

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