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Rhombus Guys get a city loan for Brewery – Updated

rhombusguysThe owners of the Rhombus Guys Pizzas (locations in Grand Forks, Fargo, and Mentor) purchased the historic Grand Forks’ Metropolitan Opera House (116 S. Third St) with plans on turning it into a brewery.  They have been looking for an experienced brewmaster and have been working with architects and construction firms on plans for the transformation to a brewery.   (FMBeer article from March 2014)

Per the September 19th article in the Grand Forks Herald, they have submitted an economic development loan application to Grand Forks’ Growth Fund Committee, which will discuss the request on Tuesday September 23rd. The request is for a $53,000 FlexPace loan, which would leverage a $100,000 Bank of North Dakota grant to help buy down interest on part of a bank loan.  If the Growth Fund Committee approves the request, it will go to the Jobs Development Authority for a public hearing on October 6th.

The Rhombus Guys are close but have not made a final decision yet as they say this is a big project with a final cost of around $2 million. They want to do their research before jumping all the way in.

UPDATE 10/7/2014 – Per the October 6th article in the Grand Forks Herald, the Grand Forks Jobs Development Authority gave final approval for the loan to buy down the bank loan and Rhombus guys will be moving forward with construction of the brewery.

That article also include several good bits of information for those of us here at FMBeer:

RhombusOpera2The application for the city loan states planning stages are already completed and construction could start this fall and finish in the spring of 2015. The costs of building improvements and purchasing equipment and machinery for the brewing portion of the project total more than $1 million.

“Rhombus Guys Brewing,” as the application refers to the business, would make a line of craft beer that will be sold on location and distributed to other establishments throughout the region.

“We aim to package the beer in kegs and cans for distribution, as well as growlers for sale at the brewery,” the application states. Its distributors will sell to other restaurants, bars and liquor stores. “The goal is to have the beer distributed in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota initially.”

“We ultimately envision Rhombus beers will be sold and consumed throughout the entire Midwest.”

Winjum said the brewery could produce about about 6,000 half-barrel kegs a year. It would also employ a head brewer, assistant brewer and two brewers, according to the staff report.

That beer would also be sold at a bar on location, and a restaurant would sell “high-end pub food,” Winjum said.

Rhombus Guys Transforming GF Opera House into a Brewpub

RhombusOperaRhombus Guys Pizza who have locations in Grand Forks, Fargo, and Mentor (seasonal), recently purchased the Grand Forks’ Metropolitan Opera House and are planning on turning the first floor into a brewpub.  Over the last few months they have advertised for an experienced brewmaster on probrewer.com and brewingworks.com to find a head brewer to work with them through the startup with the planning, design, construction, hiring and managing of the brewpub.

When Rhombus Guys first opened in Fargo back in 2011, their liquor license carries a microbrew designation, meaning Rhombus can add a microbrewery in the future, though they had no imediate plans, they had hopes for the future.  They bought the Opera House in mid 2013 but recently there have been a few articles in their plans (link, link) and the GF Herald’s article from 3/14 spells out more of their plans.

Rhombus Guys fine tuning plan for brewpub

By Christopher Bjorke & John Hageman on Mar 14, 2014

The Rhombus Guys are fine-tuning their plan to transform downtown Grand Forks’ Metropolitan Opera House into a brewpub.

Co-owner Arron Hendricks said they have a brewing license application pending, and a historic impact review for the 1889 building at 116 S. Third St. has passed a state review.

But architectural design and other details are still being refined.

“We’re still trying to hammer out those details,” Hendricks said. “The design process is taking longer than anticipated.”

He and partner Matt Winjum have been going through brewmaster candidates, but have not hired anyone yet.

Hendricks does not expect any work to start on the building for several more months, but once the building details are worked out and licenses are approved, their ambitions for Grand Forks beer should be a go, he said.

“At this point, we’re assuming we’re going to have fairly clear sailing ahead of us.”