Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 01-09-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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PAWTUCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JANUARY 9-15, 2019 THE VALLEY 15 Lops Brewing a passion come to life Building rehab project includes loft apartments, co-working space WOONSOCKET – Something big is brewing at 122 North Main St., or at least, it will be soon. The former tenement house and storefront across the street from Shaw's Meats is the future home of Lops Brewing, a new brewery and taproom set to open next May. The project is the brainchild of Sean Lopolito, a Plainville, Mass. resident and avid home brewer with plans to move to North Smithfield later this year. Lopolito, who owns his own project management consult- ing firm, told The Breeze he began the process of opening his own brewery a couple years ago when he decided to shift his career goals toward something he was more passionate about. "The brewing was really at the top of the list," he explained during a tour of the future brewery space. In 2017, Lopolito began looking for a space to host the new business. He checked out a few locations in Plainville, Wrentham and North Attleboro, but nothing stuck. Then, earlier this year, he was driving his son to school at Mount St. Charles Academy when he noticed the work going on at 122 North Main St.. The building was in the process of being rehabbed as part of a top-to- bottom renovation and had a vacant space on the first floor. Lopolito got in touch with John Messier, the building's co-owner. As it turned out, Messier was looking for exactly that type of business to fill the space. Messier and co-owner Leszek Przybylko began renovating the mixed- use residential and com- mercial building in 2016. The four-story building, when complete, will include market-rate apartment units on the top three floors and an office co-working space on the ground floor. The developers already had a few offers for the remain- ing ground floor space, but wanted a restaurant or other business that would fit the profile of the young profes- sionals they're targeting for the apartments above. "His business was really the type of business that we were looking for," Messier said. "We could've had a convenience store in here no problem." Lopolito signed a lease Oct. 1, and from there, the real work began. The building had once hosted a Laotian market on the first floor and tenement apart- ments above, but, when Messier and Przybylko took it over, was on the verge of being condemned. The developers had already gut- ted much of the interior of the building for renovations, leaving a promising but raw space featuring an exposed brick wall and front and back entryways to be trans- formed into brewery space on the ground floor. The 40-seat taproom, when complete, will include a bar, seating area and sea- sonal patio, plus space for trivia nights and live music, according to Lopolito. The room, he said, will offer a comfortable hangout where patrons can stop by for a beer tasting or to watch the game. While no food will be served outside of small snacks, he's also hoping the neighborhood's restaurants and other establishments will help bring in visitors from around the state. "We have the Stadium (Theatre) and a lot of the downtown restaurants in the area, so the idea is to have people come in for a drink before the show, come in for a drink after the show, come in for a drink after work," he explained. As for the beer, all of the brewing will take place in the basement, where a 3.5-barrel brewing system will be able to churn out seven kegs per day. Vertical tap lines will carry the beer to thirsty patrons in the tast- ing room above, and growl- ers will be available for those who wish to take some to go. Lopolito said his beers tend toward hop-heavy IPAs due to market demand, but he hopes to offer seasonal and experimental beer on a rotat- ing basis. "We also want to get at some of the other brews that By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY LAUREN CLEM Brewery founder SEAN LOPOLITO, left, and building co-owner JOHN MESSIER, right, stand in the space that will soon host Lops Brewing, a new brewery coming to 122 North Main Street later this year. See LOPS, Page 24

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