The St. Nicholas Brewing Company Opens

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By Evie Allen

DU QUOIN -- The St. Nicholas Brewing Company opened the doors for business Saturday.

A historic building in downtown Du Quoin is now ready for a second chance.The Saint Nicholas Brewing Company opened this weekend after years of planning and work. Owners say the wanted to create something different  for the region.

Since the 1800's, the St. Nicholas Hotel has been a landmark in Du Quoin. After years of being closed, the former hotel will now be serving customers in a different way.

Many residents have been eager to walk inside the Saint Nicholas Brewing Company.

"It looks awesome," said customer Benda Toney. "I love it. It looks like something from the city, the big city." 

"We've been watching the work going on, the construction, and couldn't wait for it to open," adds Dianna Kuhnert.

Dianna Kuhnert is a Du Quoin native, and she can remember when the building on Oak Street served as a railroad hotel.

"This is hometown," said Kuhnert. "We're so happy to see something new opening."

Managers with the restaurant, bar, and brewery say it's a day that took four long years to reach. The floors were layered with trash and debris. The entire facility was in danger of being torn down.

"It's been blood, sweat, and tears," said General Manager Abby Ancell. "But we're really happy with the final product."

Ancell says restoring the building opened up an opportunity for jobs and something different for the city. The new establishment provides fresh homemade craft beer. Customers can even look in on the brewing process from the dining room.

"We brew weekly," said Brew Master James McCoy. "We can try to turn a beer around every week."

McCoy says they're starting out with seven kegs that are made out of 4 tanks and a fermenter.

"We brewed two batches to start," said McCoy. "We have a blonde ale, an american pale ale, and now we're doing a brown ale."

Ancell says they have some final touches to add to the first floor and plan to hold a grand opening in September.     

"We are thrilled to finally get here and be open and show everyone what we have," said Ancell. 

Owners plan to start work in the second floor in about a year. They look to make it a banquet hall for parties and meetings. 

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