Surrounded by piles of debris, old wood and gravel, Joe Rowland sees opportunity. “This is the inevitable next step for us,” he said.
Co-owner of Nantahala Brewing in Bryson City, Rowland wanders around a four-acre lot at the end of Depot Street, less than a block from the flagship brewery. Purchased by Rowland in early 2016, the property consists of an abandoned warehouse (formerly the RC Cola bottling company) and large open field. Initially, the 11,000-square-foot building was going to be used for Nantahala’s equipment storage, barrel aging program and bottling line. But, as time went along, an idea for the remaining 3,200 square feet of unused space crept into the minds of Rowland and Co. — a restaurant and indoor/outdoor brew pub.