Neighbors torn on scrapped plans for Against the Grain microbrew - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Neighbors torn on scrapped plans for Against the Grain microbrewery in Swiss Hall

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -

Against the Grain Brewery had big plans for Swiss Hall in the Saint Joseph’s neighborhood. Sandwiched between South Preston and South Shelby Streets, the new beer hall would have added to an area that already boasts popular pinball parlor and music venue ZanzaBar. 

But the brewery announced Monday it’s abandoning the plans to turn Swiss Hall into a microbrewery and beer garden.

“There were a lot of people willing to dream big dreams with us," said Against the Grain Brewing Company partner Adam Watson. "Unfortunately, there was also some opposition."

The decision followed the Louisville Metro Planning Commission’s decision on March 15 not to endorse the 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.

“It first has to go through the planning and zoning commission, who then has to make a recommendation to the council,” said Louisville Metro Councilman Pat Mulvihill said. “At this point, they made a recommendation of denial.”

Against the Grain would have had to make major changes to its plans for the site to get approval.

“Some of the restrictions they were going to force upon us were going to limit the experience for our customers that we weren’t quite going to be proud of,” Watson said. “There were restrictions on music, times and locations, on operating hours, on the ways we could design the park area.”

While some neighbors protested the project, others welcomed it.

“I liked the idea it was a neighborhood project,” said Ruthann Reteneller, whose backyard backs up to Swiss Hall. “I went over and met them and they talked about how they wanted to belong to the neighborhood.

“When you bring music, that’s not the same thing as noise."

But regardless of neighbor opinion, Watson said the odds of getting Metro Council approval were against Against the Grain.

“The number that was thrown to me was that the city council has gone against the planning commission six times in the last 15 years,” Watson said.

Watson added that Against the Grain is searching for a new place to bring the concept.

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