When brewing equipment was installed at River City Brewery before it opened in Old Town 17 years ago, a wall was then built around it.
"Nobody probably gave a lot of thought back then to removing the equipment," says Chris Arnold , who along with Jeff Johnson bought the business in 1999.
"Our brewing equipment is on its last legs," Arnold says.
Since he'll have to remove the wall anyway to get the old equipment out and new equipment in, Arnold says he and Johnson are using the opportunity to remodel.
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The tentative start date is June 1. The restaurant will remain open by temporarily moving upstairs to Loft 150 for the three or four weeks the remodeling takes.
The current brewing area has a small series of arched windows, but the equipment isn't entirely visible.
After installation of the new equipment, which is coming from Canada, there will be a solid glass wall so customers can see the brewing in action.
Currently, River City brews six beers. That will increase to eight.
"The cool part about that is one of them will be a brewer's choice tap," Arnold says.
That means the selection could change every few weeks.
There also will be a new island-style bar with seating all around it and an expanded cocktail area with new and bigger TVs to attract more of a crowd for sporting events.
Arnold says the rest of the restaurant, with its old timbers, won't change.
"I love the way we feel like an old warehouse."
Ice cream idea
B&C Barbeque at 355 N. Washington also may undergo some changes.
"We're thinking about opening a little ice cream shop up front," says owner Carey Maurer .
The front part of the restaurant used to be used for retail. Maurer's late mother used to sell items in that space, but he says sales eventually dwindled to nothing.
"It just didn't make sense to keep it anymore."
B&C has struggled with the economy and yearlong construction on Washington.
"If it hasn't been one thing, then it's another," Maurer says.
There's a chance he could use the front space for extra seating, but Maurer is more interested in the ice cream idea.
"I've pretty much made up my mind."
Maurer has to wait to see what the economy does, though, and how it affects his business.
"It doesn't make sense to go in there and start doing improvements if business isn't where it should be."
In the final bit of remodeling news of the day, Mediterranean Grill is having some parking lot work done next week along with some remodeling of a restroom near the front of the restaurant. The entrance also has recently been remodeled.
Co-owner Mustafa Sawli says the restaurant, which is at 335 S. Towne East Drive, will remain open during the work.
"It's going to look like we're closed, but we're going to be open."
You don't say
"We had 60-year-olds giggling like kids."
—Abby Jantz of Towne West Square , which on Friday debuted a battery-operated train on wheels called the Towne West Express