You're looking at the future site of Saugatuck Brewing-Kalamazoo at Michigan and Portage St. In a week of monumental change on the local beer scene here's another one: WOOD-TV reports Saugatuck Brewing's Kalamazoo Brewpub is moving to the location of the former Olde Peninsula Brewpub at 200 East Michigan Avenue. Olde Peninsula closed its doors earlier this year after a quarter-century in business.

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WOOD-TV quotes a release where Ric Gillette, the president of Saugatuck Brewing says

“When the opportunity came about, we began to look into the possibilities of relocating to the Peninsula Building. We have agreed to purchase the assets of the Olde Peninsula Brewpub & Restaurant and have entered into an agreement to lease the space from Peregrine Peninsula LLC the building owner.”

 

The soon to be former site of Saugatuck Brewing - Kalamazoo on Westnedge Avenue between Michigan and Academy Sts. (Google Street View)

Saugatuck originally entered the Kalamazoo brewpub market when they purchased Gonzo's Bigg Dogg Brewing and took over the location on Westnedge. Saugatuck already had been operating on the lakeshore for years. All the appropriate legal papers have to be filed with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission before the move can be made, so, for the time being, its business as usual at the old location. It's too to speculate on what might go into the former Westnedge location. It is adjacent to Orrin B. Hayes and was previously a Mazda dealership.

Is it really a good location?

Going into the Olde Peninsula location presents opportunities for Saugatuck, with downtown Kalamazoo's efforts to promote the Bates Alley, the alley behind that block on Michigan Ave. However nearly every pub on that block seems to have failed and gone out of business. Ouzos, London Grill, fuze, Winston's are just some of the names that come to mind. Only Green Top and Coney Island survive. A question to ask might be about the lack of easy-access free parking the area, exacerbated even more by new construction.

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