A beer and arcade hall is starting to take shape on South Henry Street, but as the new business comes together, its owners are staying mindful of its history.
Changes to the outside of Precarious Beer Project’s beer hall, arcade and taco shop were approved by the city’s Architectural Review Board last month, owner Andrew Voss said. The board approved plans for patio seating, new paint, a covered trellis, a fire pit, and several other visual modifications.
The 9,700-square-foot beer hall will be in the building that housed Seasons Restaurant & Bar and Stephano’s Pizza & Subs.
Early on, the central part of the historic building served as the City of Williamsburg’s fire house. A front addition served as a post office.
“We are mindful and we do have restrictions in modifying some of the original elements of the building,” Voss said.
The city requires Precarious Beer to keep some original elements of the building, including the original windows in the building’s dormers.
“We’ve identified all those limitations,” he said.
Because the building is outside of the most historic district in Williamsburg, Precarious Beer is able to make some modifications both inside and outside the building for the renovation.
“There are certain buildings and homes in the area that are protected from really almost any modification,” Voss said. “We’re not in those constraints.”
Precarious Beer Project is the brewery that operates within Amber Ox Public House on Prince George Street.
The owners of Amber Ox decided to expand Precarious and create a beer hall to both cater to a growing number of Precarious customers and increase the brewery’s distribution capability.
City Council approved the project in October.
“There are a lot of guests coming in looking for Precarious Beer that we just don’t have room for,” Voss said of Amber Ox Public House.
Voss said Precarious Beer distributes as far as the Washington, D.C. market, but is only meeting about 20 percent of the total product demand for distribution.
The new setup at Precarious Beer Hall will quadruple brewing and distribution capacity. Between the Prince George and South Henry locations, Precarious Beer will be able to produce “just shy” of 3,000 barrels.
Voss said the brewery considered expanding elsewhere, but decided it needed to stay in the city.
“We love being in the city and being in the heart of Williamsburg,” Voss said. “We’d love to see the evolution of Williamsburg and continue to be a bit more… relevant in the market as it relates to the food and beverage and arts experience.”
What’s coming up?
The beer hall in downtown Williamsburg is still on-track for a June 1 opening.
The Architectural Review Board will approve signage at a later date, according to Jan. 8 meeting minutes.