Charlottetown’s Upstreet Craft Brewing is looking to join a recent trend and is expanding downtown.
Upstreet’s new retail location is set to open at the corner of Great George and Kent streets and will include a licensed space with seating to serve about 15 people.
“We had our eyes on this location for a while, and always thought it would be the perfect spot for a retail location,” said Mitch Cobb, who owns Upstreet along with Mike Hogan.
The plan is to open in the former Starbucks space the first week of March with bottled beer and growlers available for retail as well as 24 taps of their own and other P.E.I. craft beer for seated customers to try the beer in-house.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase other Island products as well. It just helps expand the industry as a whole,” said Cobb.
Upstreet has seen its business grow at its Allen Street location since opening more than two years ago.
“It’s incredible. The growth has been way more than what we could have imagined when we opened up in June 2015,” Cobb said. “There was certainly no plans for a second location. So, to be able to grow from starting off with eight people and to have upwards of 35 people now and to be adding a second location, it’s awesome.”
Signs with green lettering on the side of the building promoting the plan for a “Craft Beer Corner” began popping up about a month ago.
Brent Byrnes, Upstreet’s vice-president of sales and marketing, said the business started inquiring about the space in late September or early October.
Byrnes added that Upstreet is still involved with application process with the Prince Edward Island Liquor Control Commission for the secondary retail location and a small special premises licences.
Byrnes said Upstreet met with the nearby Hopyard Beer Bar on Kent Street to make sure they were alright with the expansion project.
“We didn’t want to go in there like we were trying to take their business, because that’s not our plan. They were excited for us because it creates that beer corner atmosphere,” he said.
Upstreet plans to hire between five and 10 people for the new location.
“It should be a neat little spot,” he said.