October 16, 2020
Wort Hog Brewing Co. goes on market at $3.15 million
File Photos/Lawrence Emerson
The January 2017 opening night crowd at Wort Hog Brewing Co. in Old Town Warrenton.
The brewery has a rooftop bar.
It’s a whole block, which is rare.
— Bill Chipman, commercial real estate broker
Wort Hog Brewing Co.
Craft brewery and pub.
41 Beckham St., 56 E. Lee St. and 50 S. Third St., Warrenton.
Matt Lutz of Gainesville, Cris Bezdek of Great Falls and Louis Oliva of Ijamsville, Md.
• Original investment:
About $2.5 million.
• Website: worthogbreweryLLC.com
• Facebook: Click here
Wort Hog Brewing Co. and the small block of Old Town Warrenton that it covers went on the market last week with an asking price of $3.15 million.
With support from the governor and town council, Wort Hog opened to great fanfare in January 2017.
The three partners — two of whom work together in a Northern Virginia defense contractor — invested about $2.5 million to buy the 0.46-acre property and convert a former auto repair garage into a state-of-the art brewery with rooftop seating.
Anticipating a constant throng of customers, town officials changed the direction of one-way traffic flow on South Third Street to make nearby public parking lots more accessible to the brewery, which can accommodate 300 people.
Warrenton architect Jim Hricko designed the modern brewery, a two-story rectangle with lots of glass tucked among older structures along East Lee Street.
The owners — Matt Lutz, Luis Oliva and Cris Bezdek — also remodeled an attached older structure on the property, across South Third from Claire’s at The Depot restaurant, and recently completed a commercial kitchen there.
Wort Hog’s two buildings total 9,600 square feet, according to the listing with Warrenton commercial brokerage CRES Inc.
The offering includes the real estate and the business, including Wort Hog’s name, CRES owner Bill Chipman said Friday.
“Two things are untapped there,” Mr. Chipman said. “They are well positioned for private events, something that the owners are starting to focus on.
“The other is the old ‘Bridge’ building. The whole property zoned CBD (Central Business District). So, there’s opportunity to increase the square footage, perhaps creating something like a boutique hotel.”
Despite the restaurant and hospitality industries’ struggles amid the pandemic, Mr. Chipman said he expects the listing to create intense interest.
“It’s a whole block, which is rare,” he added.
Thousands of potential buyers will get emails from him and the listing appears on websites targeting commercial real estate investors, the broker said.
Wort Hog’s owners announced their plans in October 2015, when the town council unanimously approved $50,000 worth of incentives for the property’s redevelopment
Gov. Terry McAuliffe came to town five months later to announce a $600,000 low-interest loan from the state for the project and to extoll the virtues of downtown revitalization.
An estimated 1,600 people visited Wort Hog on its opening day and night.
Fauquier had just one other craft brewery at the time, Old Bust Head at Vint Hill. In the years since, others have started around the county and the region.
Requests for comment from the brewery’s owners remained unanswered early Friday afternoon.
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brandonj · October 19, 2020 at 12:11 pm
I agree with other sentiments posted. If they served standard and upscale pub food it would be a winner. It was hard for me to rationalize bringing our two young kids here for snack food and average beer. With the amount of local brewery competition in county and nearby, they should have looked for an unexploited niche.
As I sat in traffic driving east to Centreville Sunday evening I could see the dollar signs exiting our county. All these people could have been dining in town after their jaunt in the country.
That said, the space is beautiful, well designed, and the location is good. There's always plenty of parking in the nearby lots or curb side. It was nice seeing familiar faces of bartenders when I visited.
Given how large the building is combined with open air seating, it was well equipped to deal with Ralph's COVID spacing mandate.
Truepat · October 19, 2020 at 6:36 am
Prior to the virus we talked about going there but there was never a compelling drive to make us want to go to old town and deal with the normal issues such as parking, I can only imagine with the main street shut down now that issue has only gotten worse.....
Blinded by truth. · October 18, 2020 at 12:05 pm
They missed the boat by not making the restaurant a bigger part of the operation. The food options have always been lacking.
Daniel.l.miller1 · October 17, 2020 at 11:10 am
I think it's hilarious and disturbing at the same time that people are blaming the virus on the demise of this business. Somehow politics has to enter into every aspect of our existence unnecessarily. With that said, in my opinion this place was failing well before covid. The beer was average at best with some being nearly undrinkable. The restaurant was never realized. It's off the beaten path from Main Street. There's limited to no parking. I think the only thing that kept them going this long were a few dedicated people supporting community and trivia night. Otherwise, The place was mainly dead.
AngryBob · October 16, 2020 at 9:20 pm
Yet another small business lost to the Chinavirus and the Democrat Lockdown. Meanwhile, Walmart and Jeff Bezos (Amazon, Washington Post) just keep getting richer and richer and richer.
FairandBalanced · October 16, 2020 at 7:17 pm
I think you should go up! Build the highest condo/apartment building you can on a portion of the block. 4 or 5 stories. elevator. or! turn into the new district and circuit courthouse complex the redneck ruling class is contemplating.
fauquierflash · October 16, 2020 at 5:42 pm
Agreed Powers is nicely run by very nice folks and excellent brew. Easy to get to on Meetze Rd
SkylinesSuck · October 16, 2020 at 5:09 pm
I really wanted this place to do well. I kept trying to like it, but the beer was sub-par.
Cammie Rodgers · October 16, 2020 at 4:59 pm
Powers Brewery has better tasting beer IMHO, and they are doing fine out in the country.
fauquierflash · October 16, 2020 at 2:49 pm
Sharlene U are correct This did not have to happen. If China had done the Human thing not just Wort Hog but many other business would not have closed and 1,000 would not have died. I'm sure you had many great ideas how to handle things better but of course U and many others kept those ideas to yourselves.
sharlene · October 16, 2020 at 1:55 pm
A sad day. This didn't have to happen. If only the pandemic was handled better in this country, businesses like this may have had a fighting chance.
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