A taproom and additional apartment space on Martin Luther King Boulevard should fit in well with the growing landscape of the corridor, The Raines Group President Bill Raines said.
“We are in the Innovation District, and at one time, we considered [having] open offices [here],” he said. “Then, we looked at student housing, but there’s a lot of student housing. We think that market is taken care of.”
With three new apartments above the downstairs taproom, Raines is hoping to attract young professionals between the ages of about 23 and 35 who will complement the downstairs business.
The taproom, called Barley, will offer both area residents and passersby the chance to grab a beer.
Co-owners Brad Lee and Cameron Hamner are the entrepreneurial forces behind Barley, which is in the works on the corner near Houston Street.
The space is about 3,300 square feet and is divided into three sections.
On one side is a bar; in the middle, there’s a walk-in package beer cooler; on the other side is more seating or event rental space.
“It could be anything from a political party to a birthday party or a fundraiser,” Lee said. “About 40 or 50 people can fit in this space.”
The total occupancy will be about 110, and there will be some patio seating.
Reclaimed, repurposed wood is featured inside, where there will be 64 taps, about half of which will be from Tennessee.
It’ll also be a “one-stop shop” for all the Chattanooga breweries, the duo said.
Selling large volumes of craft beer means better deals from distributors and first dibs on unique beers, so there will also be products from around the world, such as Belgium and Germany, Lee and Hamner also said.
Customers can stay at Barley to drink or get growlers, six-packs and bottles to go.
Lee has a background in entrepreneurship and banking, and Hamner has a degree in chemical engineering.
Recently changed Tennessee laws allow Lee and Hamner, who are from Alabama, to sell high-gravity beer from the taproom, which is one reason they decided to bring their business to Chattanooga.
“The other part of it is Chattanooga is just a great town,” Lee said.
The duo hopes to open in the next four to six weeks.
The apartment space
Each of the three apartments will have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and will be about 1,200 to 1,300 square feet.
There’s exposed brick, large windows, fireplaces, storage room, and washer and dryer hookups.
The apartments are also insulated with soundproofing, so residents “can sleep like a baby,” Raines said.
One of the apartments has skylights, and one has big windows that overlook the MLK mural.
Rent will be about $1,600 a month.
Raines is working with interior designer Kathleen Anderson and architect Thomas Johnson, who Raines said has experience restoring older buildings.
The team is also working to get the property listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The apartments should be open about a month after Barley opens.