Against the Grain scraps plan for microbrewery at Swiss Hall
Louisville craft brewery Against the Grain has abandoned its plan to turn the Swiss Hall property in the St. Joseph neighborhood into a microbrewery, beer garden and venue for events and concerts.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville craft brewery Against the Grain has abandoned its plan to turn the Swiss Hall property in the St. Joseph neighborhood into a microbrewery, beer garden and venue for events and concerts.
The decision follows the Louisville Metro Planning Commission’s decision on March 15 not to endorse project over concerns about noise from late-night music in the middle of a residential area, according to Planning Commission records.
The Planning Commission is a group of residents appointed by Mayor Greg Fischer to review development projects and recommendations to the Metro Council, which has the final say on zoning issues.
The council had not yet taken up Against the Grain’s request to rezone the property at 719 Lynn Street from residential to commercial.
“The Planning Commission expressed concerns, and the suggestions they made to render the project acceptable would have caused us to deliver a product of lower quality than we expect of ourselves,” Against the Grain said in a news release Monday. “We respect their decision but do not want to engage in a project that cannot live up to the potential we believe it has.”
Against the Grain had planned to renovate the three-story Swiss Hall building into a small bar serving pub fare, a banquet hall and music venue and staff offices, according to a rezoning application filed in November with Louisville Metro Planning and Design.
The 2.6-acre site includes a large green space that Against the Grain had planned to make into a beer garden “with multiple tables and social activity space.”
But the Planning Commission took issue with proposed agreement that would have allowed Against the Grain to have live music outside at the site until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and until 10 p.m. on weeknights.
Commissioner Jeff Brown said 11 p.m. is “too late for noise disturbance this close to residential without additional sound mitigation,” according to minutes from the March 15 meeting.
Brown said he could support the zoning change if Against the Grain agreed not to have outdoor entertainment or amplified music and “pulled back on the hours.”
Commissioner Marilyn Lewis said neighbors “shouldn’t have to listen to music until midnight,” a reference to the proposed closing time for Against the Grain’s indoor activity, according to the meeting minutes.
Commissioner Ramona Lindsey said Against the Grain’s proposal would be “a great plan in a different location.”
The commission voted 6-2 to recommend that the council turn down the zoning change.
The council’s zoning committee was scheduled to take up on Tuesday, and a final vote on the project by the full council could have been as soon as April 26, said Metro Council Clerk Stephen Ott.
The Swiss Hall property would have been the fast-growing brewery’s third location. Against the Grain has a brewery and smokehouse at Slugger Field and a production facility in Portland.
The Fraternal Order of Police Deputy Lodge 25 had the Swiss Hall property listed for sale last year for $875,000.