New downtown Dayton brewery plans taking shape, founder says

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New downtown Dayton brewery plans taking shape, founder says

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Scenes from inside Lock 27 Brewing’s second location that will overlook Fifth Third Field’s main plaza on East First Street downtown. MARK FISHER/STAFF

Details are emerging and plans are taking shape for Lock 27 Brewing’s second location overlooking Fifth Third Field’s main plaza on East First Street in downtown Dayton, according to brewery founder Steve Barnhart.

The former “Delco Building” a few yards from the Dayton Dragons stadium is a beehive of construction activity as workers prepare for Delco Loft’s 133 apartment units.

Barnhart said the build-out for the brewpub is a month or so from commencing. Plans call for the new brewery and restaurant to open in May 2017, to coincide with the opening of the Dayton Dragons season. The 133 “Delco Lofts” apartment units are scheduled to open in summer of 2017, Water Street project developers Crawford Hoying and Woodard Development said in August.

The Lock 27 brewpub is expected to seat about 120 and serve lunch and dinner seven days a week, Barnhart said.

The brewery and restaurant will occupy about 12,000 square feet of the building’s basement and first floor. Customer seating will be along the first-floor wall overlooking the Fifth Third Field plaza. The restaurant will have an open kitchen on the first floor. Its brewhouse will be in the basement, with some of the tanks and other taller pieces of brewing equipment extending through the basement ceiling to create a visual centerpiece of sorts for the first-floor restaurant, Barnhart said.

Barnhart himself has leased an apartment in the building directly above the brewpub’s entrance.

The brewpub will evoke a 1900s feel. “Everything will kind of have a rough and rustic feel to it, with a lot of wood and black iron,” the Lock 27 founder said.

Plans call for keeping the 12-foot columns and the concrete floors. “It would be a shame to come in and make it something it wasn’t,” Barnhart said.

Plans call for distributing Lock 27’s downtown Dayton beers in kegs only at first, “but we think we have space to put a canning or bottling line in here” for future retail distribution, Barnhart said.

“At the end of the day, we want to be a distribution brewery — we want people to be able to drink Lock 27 beer everywhere, not just in our brewpub,” he said.

Barnhart has said there are no plans to close or move the existing Lock 27 on Ohio 48 in south Centerville, which has “a strong presence is the Centerville community, one that we intend to support indefinitely.”

Barnhart is a native of Chicago who moved to the Dayton area in 1984. He spent 15 years working in corporate development at NCR. An avid home-brewer since 1997, Barnhart opened Lock 27 in Centerville in June 2013.

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