Originally created 09/12/98

New microbrewery to open in Augusta



Construction has begun on a 9,000-square-foot restaurant and microbrewery on Washington Road.

The Oldenberg Grill, a $2 million project being developed by Old Augusta Brewing Co. LLC., is expected to open in mid-December.

The establishment will be a franchise location of the original Oldenberg Grill in Louisville, Ky., according to Tom Clark, an Augusta restaurateur and the local investor for the project.

"It's going to be a unique dining experience you can't find right now anywhere in Augusta," he said. "We will fall into a different niche."

The red brick building will be built on a 2.7-acre parcel on Washington Road between the Travel Lodge hotel and Pizza Hut in the 3000 block.

Billed as an "upscale but casual" establishment, the brew pub will feature 12 Oldenberg microbrews, three of which will be brewed on site in equipment housed in a 42-foot tower.

The first Oldenberg Grill was built last fall and its partners announced plans to open other locations across the eastern United States in March.

Mr. Clark, owner of Augusta's Rally's fast food franchises, said he began discussing the Augusta location with Oldenberg's investors earlier this year and purchased the property three months ago.

The Augusta location will be the only restaurant in the chain not operated by Oldenberg Brewing Co.

There are two other brew pubs in the area, the King George restaurant in Augusta and the Aiken Brewing Co. in Aiken.

Oldenberg plans to hire a local brewmaster to oversee production of its microbrew labels, including Pious Pale Ale and Holy Grail Nut Brown Ale.

The Oldenberg Grill will be architecturally different from other local restaurants, Mr. Clark said, pointing out the establishment's revolving front door and three-story tower, which will be visible from Interstate 20.

The restaurant section will offer two different dining areas, a "quiet area" and a "bar area," which will be separated so customers can choose their dining atmosphere.

The menu will offer a selection of salads, pizzas and appetizers as well as dinner entrees averaging $15 a plate.