DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - A community coming together to revitalize a neighborhood is something to cheers to. And what they have brewing is almost ready to open.
St. Anne's Hill is a historic community within the City of Dayton. "It's a very close-knit community," said Maureen Barry, who lives in the area.
The main thoroughfare has fallen on tough times, but the people who call the district home are changing that, beginning with at corner of E. Fifth Street.
In 2010 a group of 32 neighbors came together and bought the property at 1600 E. Fifth St., which happened to be an old bar. They fixed up the exterior because they say it was an eyesore. Then, they waited for a viable business to buy it from them and set up shop. When that didn't happen, the group moved ahead with a unique business plan.
They created the Fifth Street Brewpub - the only co-op brewpub in the Midwest, they say. Each member-owner owns an equal share in the business. So, you buy in at $100, you can say you own a brewpub. Memberships, are the main financial resource. Members receive special benefits, but you don't have to buy in to be a patron. They will eventually brew their own beer on site, and will also serve food.
"A lot of people join because they like the beer, but a lot of people join because they like the community-mindedness of the whole project," said Barry, who is also the membership director for the Fifth Street Brewpub.
Most of the renovation work is being done by members and neighbors, and they are reusing a lot of the material. Many of the neighbors who invested initially in the project, are part of a larger effort to revitalize more buildings along the East Fifth Street corridor in St. Anne's Hill.
The brewpub currently has 1,500 members and they're hoping to reach 2,000. They are also hoping to be open by late April or early May.
They will hold an open house Saturday, March 16 from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. at 1600 E. Fifth Street.
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