Efforts to turn a historic church into a brewery in Ghent met with mixed reactions (via WTKR.com)
NORFOLK, Va. – There is an effort to turn a historic church into a brewery in Ghent near the Chrysler Museum.
The Unitarian Church of Norfolk located on the 700 block of Yarmouth Street is next to the Hague and has been for sale for three years.
Saba Properties, owned by Christopher Todd and his business partner Craig Reilly, wants to buy the building and lease it to Champion Brewing, a Charlottesville company with ties to Hampton Roads. They’d like to open a microbrewery and preserve the historic church.
“They’re going to maintain the historical integrity at the church, otherwise it’ll sit vacant and who knows what the next chapter will be,” said Todd.
Thursday night they discussed the issues at the civic meeting.
The brewery would be open until 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends and would not sell hard liquor.
It would not be a production facility; it would only make small batches of beer for sale at the brewery location.
Some of the neighbors are concerned about noise, traffic and parking.
Several residents put signs in their yards that read “No Brewery”.
Resident Mary Brenner said she is against the idea.
“I think it’s a desecration of both of the church and a beautiful neighborhood,” said Brenner. “We cannot bring such a thing to a neighborhood like this.”
Several people told News 3 they like the idea of the brewery – they just don’t want it near their home in a residential neighborhood and don’t think it’s an appropriate location.