03 April 2012

Pratt Street/Oliver Breweries to Open Columbia Ale House

Reported to me minutes ago in person by Pratt Street Ale House co-owner Justin Dvorkin:

"We just bought the former Rocky Run Tap and Grill in Columbia's Dobbin Shopping Center.  We're going to open it as the Columbia Ale House.  We expect to have fifty draft lines or so, three cask engines, dominated of course by Oliver Brewies products, just like the Pratt Street Ale House, and a good bottle selection.  It's about 9,000 square feet, with a lot of outdoor patio space."

Longtime central Maryland craft imbibers may remember that Rocky Run operated as a brewpub for a spell, with a not-very-stellar reputation, closing in August 2008.  The restaurant has reportedly been vacant ever since, in spite of the thriving culinary scene in Columbia.  (Note that head-to-head competition, the Frisco Tap House and Brewery, is just down the road a short distance!)  Dvorkin noted, "That place is going to need a LOT of work before we can open it.  We're hoping we can have it open by September."  Dvorkin is considering retaining the barbeque and Tex-Mex food theme that made Rocky Run a popular restaurant for a spell.

Meanwhile, renovations frantically continue at the downtown Baltimore Pratt Street Ale House, trying to have the entire expanded building (including the former Nest/DSX bar on the east side) open for Opening Day this Friday.  "The Grand Prix was big for us, but Opening Day is by far our busiest single day of the year."

Granted, this puts additional pressure on Oliver Breweries to find new/additional brewing resources of one kind or another, or else start cutting back on distribution to other outlets.  Stay tuned......

(Photo from ComeVisitColumbiaMd.com)


Wine Novice1 said...

Fantastic news!

stevejones said...

It's definitely going to put a lot of pressure on the brewery but we're excited at the prospect of having a permanent outlet for our products in HoCo. It's a great location, I definitely want to have plenty of beer release events there which I shy away from at the Pratt Street location because of parking issues. It's going to be an exciting year!

JohnM. said...

I am very excited about this as well. Given the obscene pricing at Frisco's (one friend at work jokingly mentioned that prices down at Churchkey always seem more reasonable to him after a visit to Frisco's), I've pretty much given up going there anymore. So I'm looking forward to the Columbia Alehouse as an alternative (though of course I guess we'll all have to wait and see what pricing is like there as well - this is Howard County after all).