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City of Port Washington receives $250,000 state grant to support Inventors Brewpub expansion

November 1, 2022
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Brewpub, restaurant and event space will enhance downtown redevelopment

PORT WASHINGTON, WI. NOV. 1, 2022 – The City of Port Washington is receiving a $250,000 state grant to help Inventors Brewpub expand to a larger space downtown, Missy Hughes, Secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced today.

“Investing in our downtowns is key to building thriving communities,” Secretary Hughes said. “When people come downtown to shop, eat, or do business everyone benefits because those small businesses are more likely to reinvest their customers’ money back into the community.”

Inventors Brewpub was started by Adam Draeger in Port Washington in 2016. Since its founding, Inventors has quickly filled serving capacity and no longer has the space to keep up with demand. There is also very little room for further brewing capacity or occupancy at the current location inside the American Legion, 435 N. Lake St., Port Washington.

Inventors plans to build a new brewpub and restaurant at 305 E. Washington St. in partnership with Gertjan van den Broek, who owns the land. The development calls for construction of a building containing the new Inventors Brewpub location, upstairs office space, and an attached event space. As a multi-purpose building it will provide office, dining, drinking, and event space in the heart of downtown Port Washington, directly on the harbor. This project transforms space previously used only for parking into a destination for both Port Washington residents and tourists alike.

“We are excited to complement the Heart of the Harbor. The City and Main Street Port Washington have done a fantastic job with this project, and we are excited to serve the community with a much-needed event space, more local craft beer, and to provide a central location where the community can gather and build Port Washington into a Great Lakes destination,” said Cameron Huck, owner and manager of Inventors Brewpub.

“Bringing Port’s popular craft brewery downtown, along with event and office space, will add so much energy and four-season appeal to our downtown,” said Kristina Tadeo, Executive Director of Port Washington Main Street.

Secretary Hughes also visited four businesses that have received $10,000 Main Street Bounceback grants to move into previously vacant commercial spaces: Starr Health & Wellness, The B Hive, Best Self Counseling, and Lakeside Music & Naturals/Banjole’s Brews. Port Washington has received more than 15 Main Street Bounceback grants.

Since Governor Evers established the Main Street Bounceback grant program in April 2021, WEDC has provided more than $66 million in to more than 6,600 small businesses and nonprofits in all 72 counties. The governor has allocated a total of $100 million for the program to serve 10,000 new businesses through Dec. 31, 2022.

“In Port Washington, we’re seeing the same sense of excitement that we’re seeing across the state. New businesses are filling vacant storefronts, and folks are coming downtown to support their local businesses,” Hughes said.

“Our historic downtown has benefited greatly from the state’s Main Street Bounceback Grant Program. We have seen new businesses pop up and a number of key businesses expand due to the grant. It’s been an important tool for our Main Street program on both the business recruitment and retention side,” Tadeo said.

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 2022, WEDC has awarded nearly $34.8 million in CDI Grants to 166 communities for projects expected to generate more than $517 million in capital investments statewide.

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