A Beer Hall on The Hague?

Who wants it? Who needs it?

Believe it or not, a microbrewery named Champion Brewing (headquartered in Richmond, VA) wanted to open a "brewery" in the old church building at the foot of Yarmouth Street on The Hague.

This so-called brewery would have actually only brew enough beer to supply the 200 seat beer hall that would be housed in the same building (with an additional 40-customer capacity "special events" room upstairs). In other words, despite the fact that the former church sanctuary that would have now housed 200 beer drinkers would be called a "tasting room," in reality it would have been a BEER HALL.

The block of Yarmouth Street where this beer hall would have been located is a quiet, shady residential neighborhood street with an old church building on its corner. All the neighbors on this street seemed to be against this beer hall/brewery opening on their street. What homeowner would want that?

"NO Brewery" signs lined both sides of Yarmouth Street:


Would you want it on your block?

Think about it. Think! Would you want such a thing moving into the quiet residential block that you live on? Even if you like the idea of being able to simply walk around The Hague to grab a cold one in the midst of a slew of fellow cheerful imbibers, think about your neighbors living their quiet lives in their quiet houses who bought those houses never expecting that a beer hall — with all its accompanying traffic, noise, and commotion — would open up on their block. So take your NIMBY accusations (if you are so inclined) and go crfy in your beer — elsewhere.


See the Erstwhile Plans for the Brewery

(including the detailed "Security Plan" — what kind of business needs that?)


Think, indeed. The Ghent Neighborhood League took an online survey/vote of its membership, and guess what — a majority of the GNL membership who voted should be ashamed of themselves (133 people voted, and 83 of them voted for the brewery).

Since the City only sends its letters of notifiction to neighbors within a 300 foot radius of a property requesting rezoning, why should anyone but the residents within that 300 foot radius (the neighbors who will be impacted most by a beer hall moving into the neighborhood) have standing in the matter?


The Unitarians who wanted to sell their old church building to brewery entrepreneurs might also want to consider some personal soul searching. Even if you are not a Christian (though Unitarianism does consider itself a sect of Christianity), what ever happened to Jesus' Golden Rule? Do unto others... Whatever you might think of Jesus, wasn't that darned good advice for making the human world run more smoothly? But has Jesus' famous old dictum become as disrespected, even by Christians, as his "turn the other cheek" advice?

"Many church members are all for the church being converted into a brewery."

But the Unitarians do have their principles.

andria mcclellan, norfolk, city council, facebook, yard sig, cyberbully

How they tried to sell it...

Take a look at an excerpt from the formerly wannabe local brewers' Power Point presentation below. You have to wonder about a business that has to sell itself with the promise of "limited hours of operation"? And "NOT a bar"? They would have been selling alcoholic beverages, right? But let's give 'em that one. Of course it wuldn't have been a small room with a bar and a handful of bar flies on stools nursing their gin and tonics. It would have beenbe a church sanctuary-sized room seating 200 beer swillers — in other words, a BEER HALL.

Of course, the brewery entrepreneurs had insinuated that their offer was the only hope for the old building, that without them it would be forever abandoned, fall into disrepair, perhaps be swallowed whole by the gaping mouth of hell. See this excerpt from their Power Point presentation:

What, as if no other buyer of the building could do these things? What about another church? After all, it is a church building. Oh, and since the old church is located in a historic district, the "historical integrity of the building" would have to be maintained by any buyer. Gotta wonder how many of those GNL members who voted in favor of the brewery did so because they thought the brewery was the only way to save the old church building.

Self-described "confirmed Catholic Catholic" prayed for the church/brewery deal:

"Neighborhood micro-breweries serve a role not unlike churches: they call us together to common cause. Just as any two men sitting next to each other in a pew are inherently equals, so is true of ball stools" — J. Scaccia

Editorial Note: This Veblenesque commentator on the social condition has since gone on to work for NORML. Maybe now he would thimk it's a great idea to turn the old church building into a weed factory and dispensary, its underwater basement doubling as a hydroponic grow tank.


We could rename the neighborhood POTTERSVILLE!




Nevermind all that storm and stress the brewery people stirred up. Come to find out, fixing up the old church building for all those drinkers would have been just too expensive for them—"the cost of renovation makes it prohibitive."

Champion Brewery pulls out of deal


There won't even be float-thru service on The Hague:



But the wait was worth it.

Now a new school, a better fit for the neighborhood!

the hague school, norfolk, virginia

"Better than a brewery!"





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