Garrison Brewing pays homage to iconic Oxford Theatre with new taproom
A Maritime brewery is about to embark on a new venture and breathe new life into an iconic Halifax building.
Garrison Brewing is setting up a new taproom in the building that houses the former Oxford Theatre.
Garrison, one of Halifax’s first craft brewers, will set up shop in the old Elegant Touch Beauty Salon, which is attached to the theatre. It will include a pilot-brewery, street-front taproom and retail store, backyard terrace, and second-floor community space.
A pilot brewery is a place for brewmasters to do research or make experimental batches.
"The space itself will be called the Oxford, the Oxford Taproom,” said Brian Titus, president of Garrison Brewing.“It’s all exposed brick. It's high ceilings, wood ceilings, so there's a lot of natural character there. There's a couple of neat pieces that we'll be able to get from the old Oxford Theatre, that will find a proper home, be able to display them. You know, things that maybe people haven't seen from up in the projector room, that kind of thing.”
The theatre had been an iconic part of the city for eight decades, before it was sold in 2017.
"It's a great building, (built in) 1937, so there's really good bones to it,” Titus said. “I'm a sucker for an old building and I really think that area could use sort of a local watering place, a bit of a social house, so that's what the idea is.”
The new space will feature a small brewery with a range of local craft beer and cider.
Titus says it’s not meant to be a bar, and there will be no hard liquor served, nor is it meant to be a restaurant.
“There'll be some snacks there and you can bring food in from other places,” he said. “We are absolutely surrounded by great, local restaurants.”
Further plans to develop the former theatre space are said to be underway,
The taproom, which will be family and pet-friendly, is scheduled to open in late spring.
“I am sure I speak for everyone on Quinpool Road when I say that we are absolutely thrilled that the building will not be demolished,” Karla Nicholson, executive director of Quinpool’s Mainstreet District Association, said in a news release.
“The Oxford development is definitely exciting, and we look forward to seeing many of our businesses benefit from it. It’s also exciting that community groups and non-profits, like our association, will have a place to meet and collaborate on Quinpool.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Natasha Pace.