We left off in our March edition where we were knee deep in zoning and regulatory bureaucracy with Arlington County for a brewery space next to the Ballston mall. Recent events have led us to believe that we should pursue multiple spaces at the same time.
We are actively pursuing two spaces, one in North Arlington north of the Ballston Mall, and One in South Arlington behind Shirlington. Both spaces are especially exciting for a number of reasons. The North Arlington Space is an excellent location in a well established upscale market. The branding for the brewery matches well with the location and we think it could be something very special. The South Arlington location is an area in transition which provides an excellent market for growth. Walking distance from Shirlington, we would expect to serve the Shirlington and North Arlington communities. As folks who grew up around here, nobody thought something like this would ever be possible and we’re honored to be taking part in it.
So on to the news…. We are drafting our letter of intent for the South Arlington space and are about to enter negotiation on the economics of the lease with the landlord, price per square foot, tenant improvement, the whole nine. We have also secured an attorney to pursue a letter of determination from the head of Arlington County Zoning. This letter would confirm our business points on the lease and provide the precedent for approval to occupy the premise. Although nothing in life is guaranteed, this would provide a much needed stepping stone on the road map to opening the first packaging brewery in Arlington Virginia.
People ask me often, “How did you choose the name Metropole?” The answer comes back to my grandfather. My grandfather, Steve Katrivanos came over to America from Greece in the early 1920s. He saw prohibition come and go and worked in restaurants his whole life. Following the American dream, the first place he owned was a restaurant in Alexandria called the “Metropole Café,” in what is now known as the Light Horse Tavern. My grandfather lived upstairs at night and worked downstairs during the day.
The Metropole was a symbol of my grandfather’s commitment to family, the community, and the hard work ethic of many early 1900s Americans. In that spirit, we move forward with Metropole Brewing Company. Sometimes in order to understand the future we must look to the past. What an astounding way to connect to our heritage.
This is the only known photo of the Metropole Café and was taken in the 1940s. The Metropole was not the main subject of the photo and so we have had to enhance the photo digitally. Imagine how that sign must have looked in the 40s!
The signage and feel of this photo is the inspiration for the branding behind Metropole Brewing Company. The idea is an old school art deco style combined with a retro mod style and has been the focus of the branding effort. We will have prints and graphics soon!
So the next question is, “Why not in Arlington?” I firmly believe this unrecognized market in NOVA is the next frontier for micro brewed beer in Arlington VA. Metropole is committed to making that happen and looks forward to satisfying this market gap.
As usual, thanks for all the support! Cheers!