Longmont couple eyes OUR Center site for LoCo Brewing

LONGMONT — A Longmont couple anticipates closing this week on the purchase of one of the OUR Center’s buildings at Third Avenue and Atwood Street, where they hope to open a microbrewery and cooking studio.

Rene Mangan said Tuesday that she and husband, Paul, are shooting for a September opening if everything goes well with city approvals and the OUR Center’s move to a new facility across the street.

The Mangans are buying the property at 309 Atwood. Rene Mangan said LoCo Brewing is the anticipated name of the brewery, though she said a name for the cooking school has yet to be determined.

The OUR Center strives to help low-income residents of the community move toward self-sufficiency by offering various services, including a food pantry, classes, a clothing bank and daily hot meals. The center has three buildings along the north side of Third Avenue between Collyer and Atwood streets, but is planning to consolidate into a new facility this spring across the street at 220 Collyer.

The owners of Georgia Boys BBQ last summer paid $500,000 to purchase The OUR Center’s hospitality center building at 250 Third Ave., where their plan is to open a new restaurant once The OUR Center moves.

Mangan said LoCo Brewing, including brewery space and a taproom, will take up about 1,000 square feet of the building at 309 Atwood. The other 1,200 or 1,300 square feet will be used to hold cooking classes. She said the taproom would have seating for about 30 or 35 people inside, with room for another dozen or so on an outdoor patio.

The property is zoned commercial. But because it sits directly adjacent to a residential area, the Mangans are seeking a variance on the residential protection standard that requires that a microbrewery and taproom be located at least 250 feet from a residential zone.

Rene Mangan is a chef by trade, while Paul’s background is in the information-technology space. The couple previously owned a restaurant in South Fork and has been home brewing for years. Rene Mangan said Longmont felt like an attractive place for the type of business they wanted to open.

She said the cooking school would include not only small skills classes but also an entertaining space where large groups can come in and socialize while learning to cook a meal. A large garden on the nearly half-acre property will help provide a farm-to-table experience for such gatherings.

“We like its proximity to downtown,” Mangan said. “We like the garden a lot.

“There’s a lot of really neat things going on in town that we can partner with.”

The brewery, she said, will operate with a one- or 1.5-barrel brewhouse. The intent right now, she said, is for the brewery to simply serve its own taproom and events at the cooking school, not distribute its beers. Paul Mangan will be the head brewer.

“We’re not setting out to build into a gigantic brewery or anything like that,” Rene Mangan said.

Mangan said the plan is for the OUR Center to remain in the space until June, after which there will be buildout of the space to go through before opening.