Bank to brew

Michael Moore / Sentinel Staff

Todd Weisenberger, left, and Anthony Pacheco are two members of the crew that’s working on the conversion of the former TD Bank in Keene into Modestman Brewing Co., as seen here on Friday.

Keene’s first brewery on Main Street is slated to open this fall.

Ash Sheehan, owner of Taqueria Odelay on Main Street, announced in March his intention to launch Modestman Brewing Co. in the former TD Bank space just a few doors down from his restaurant.

The 3,000-square-foot brewhouse will feature a 100-seat taproom and a patio on the sidewalk, Sheehan said.

He said Friday that both interior construction and the necessary licensing are moving ahead.

In a later phase of Modestman’s development, Sheehan hopes to add Keene’s first rooftop seating, though whether that’s possible under city regulations is still being researched.

While he expects the brewery to open this fall, Sheehan doesn’t have a specific date yet because there are still local and state approvals needed. The business obtained the necessary federal approval, he said, and he has an appointment scheduled this month to request a state brewery license.

And locally, Sheehan will need an occupancy permit after construction is completed.

But the Main Street brewery isn’t the only plan he has in the works.

Sheehan has had a lease at the city-owned 12 Gilbo Ave. for several years, and his new goal is to start a small restaurant in the space.

Sheehan began Odelay in the Gilbo Avenue building in 2014 and moved to Main Street less than two years later. He kept the lease, though, operating Odelay’s catering services there until last year. It was mainly used for storage and as his informal office space after that.

He also wanted to keep the lease as a potential home for Modestman, but then found the former bank building.

When he asked the city to renew his lease at 12 Gilbo Ave., Sheehan pitched a barbecue joint, but he said Friday he hasn’t nailed down the details yet.

Operating under a separate company — Guru Eats LLC — that space will not only prepare and serve food for its customers, but also become a processing kitchen for a food truck Sheehan bought.

“And the food truck will then drive across the street and operate behind the brewery on our private property,” feeding Modestman’s guests, he said.

Sheehan estimates that everything will open around the same time this fall, provided he’s satisfied he’s ready to open.

He said he’ll likely start practicing with the brewing equipment this week.

“I’m not gonna open until the beer’s delicious and we understand how this equipment works,” he said.

Sierra Hubbard can be reached at 355-8546 or at shubbard@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter at @SierraHubbardKS.