WEDC investment to help fund community gathering space
EAGLE RIVER, WI. SEPT. 1, 2023 – The City of Eagle River is receiving a $250,000 state grant to support the transformation of an underdeveloped restaurant space into a state-of-the-art brewpub located in the heart of downtown.
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes toured the new Riverstone Brewing Company Friday during a visit to Eagle River.
“Local brewpubs become key community gathering spaces and Riverstone Brewing Company will help lure visitors to downtown Eagle River to enjoy the many amenities the city has to offer,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “Thriving downtowns with spaces for people to live, work, shop, eat and gather are important for creating vibrant communities.”
WEDC’s Community Development Investment (CDI) Grant aided in the transformation of the former Riverstone Restaurant and Tavern into Riverstone Brewing Company, a locally-owned brewpub.
This revitalization aims to create a welcoming, inviting space for visitors and residents alike. The building, which is one of Eagle River’s 41 historic sites, was built in 1937 as a meeting space for the local American Legion. Upgrades to the historic building include a 1,400 square foot expansion, updated flooring and decoration, and state-of-the-art brewing equipment. The brewpub’s central location will serve to bring in residents and travelers from the nearby highway, ATV routes and boat landing, boosting tourism in the area.
“The City of Eagle River and the Eagle River Revitalization Program are always excited to support the development of new and unique businesses in our downtown area and appreciate WEDC for their financial programs that help make these developments possible,” said Robin Ginner, Eagle River City Administrator. “Riverstone Brewing will provide an opportunity for both residents and visitors looking to experience craft beer, good food and view of our beautiful Eagle River.”
The brewpub is set to bring four full-time jobs to the community, as well as an additional 10 part-time opportunities. The interior and exterior upgrades to the building are estimated to raise the property value by over $900,000, increasing the overall property value of the surrounding area. The restaurant, bar and brewery will bring additional tax revenue to the city, while also catalyzing further development in the area.
WEDC’s Community Development Investment Grant Program supports community development and redevelopment efforts, primarily in downtown areas. The matching grants are awarded based on the ability of applicants to demonstrate the economic impact of the proposed project, including public and private partnership development, financial need, and use of sustainable downtown development practices.
From the program’s inception in 2013 through March 2023, WEDC has awarded nearly $45.2 million in CDI Grants for 215 projects expected to generate nearly $879 million in capital investments statewide.