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Just about every city that has elevated a highway through downtown is looking for ways to (or already has) knock them down. If you want to prevent waterfront visitors from exploring the rest of downto

Honestly we would have been better to have an actual local brewery in there like O Connors, Smartmouth or Wasserhaund etc. We need to promote our own area and grow from within. Brewery with pool table

I understand what you're saying. In fact, I've posted about the exact same thing right here in the past. However, I don't think you can just willy-nilly dismiss all of the five star reviews. Many peop

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i'm very proud of of this. It still has that strip mall feel from certain angles, lol, but i like the vibrancy it appears to have.  I will definitely be back home again within the next two months to check that and the main out.  I will have my camera. I have to get a shot of the skyline to do a canvas for my home here in Bmore county.  When the icon comes online, we should see some serious activity in the area again on non-event weekends. I think there is also a restaurant at the bottom of that development too.  These are the times I wish I could move back.  I still own my home there, hmmmmmm, lol.

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http://pilotonline.com/life/flavor/alcohol/instead-of-a-brewhouse-starr-hill-will-open-a-beer/article_74b3cb82-644a-5b55-847b-aae5754dd05a.html

 

"Instead of opening a whole brewhouse at Waterside, Starr Hill Brewery will just open a craft beer bar.

The brewery based in Crozet, just outside Charlottesville, previously announced plans to open in Waterside in 2015, but plans have shifted slightly since then."

 

Retail/Dining/Entertainment development model/mantra for success in the 21st C.:

"Unique." "Experiential."

"Interactive." "Dynamic."

With this change, the place just got a little less all of the above.

Edited by baobabs727
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 I have been to micro-breweries many times, and there are some great ones in Norfolk, and some of the other local cities, but the fact that there won't be one at the Waterside District doesn't dampen my excitement for the project at all. 

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It's not a deal breaker, but this was kinda our answer to Stone going to Richmond. I feel like it's the same type of bait and switch that always gets pulled on this area, as though we're not ready for the real deal or something. I think they've missed an opportunity here. As the response to the Hilton has shown, when you go big people will respond. Folks are looking for different, now this is just another bar.

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1 hour ago, vdogg said:

It's not a deal breaker, but this was kinda our answer to Stone going to Richmond. I feel like it's the same type of bait and switch that always gets pulled on this area, as though we're not ready for the real deal or something. I think they've missed an opportunity here. As the response to the Hilton has shown, when you go big people will respond. Folks are looking for different, now this is just another bar.

Starr Hill at Waterside District was not going to be a brewery anywhere near the scale of Stone Brewery in Richmond. It would have been more akin to Gordon Biersch in TC. Stone is more like the Green Flash brewery in VB (except 4x the size), whice is a large scale "micro brewery" built mainly for distribution. Starr Hill would have been mostly for on site consumption.

Edited by NFKjeff
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41 minutes ago, NFKjeff said:

Starr Hill at Waterside District was not going to be a brewery anywhere near the scale of Stone Brewery in Richmond. It would have been more akin to Gordon Biersch in TC. Stone is more like the Green Flash brewery in VB (except 4x the size), whice is a large scale "micro brewery" built mainly for distribution. Starr Hill would have been mostly for on site consumption.

Respectfully, perhaps you're missing the point. It would've been an actual full-fledged brewery--not just another bar with a bunch of beer taps.  It would've been the only brewery in the house.  Probably the largest in ORF.  Giant stainless steel tanks in a glass box. There would've been tours.  Special brews, made right there for the District. Experiential, visually arresting, unique...to the building and to Norfolk. 

Now it's just another bar, ho-hum. BM will be the star now. Pardon the pun.

As to Vdogg's excellent and poignant point about bait and switch, the region's collective expectations, our historic/chronic disappointment and the ever-present chip on our shoulder, well, I guess you have to have lived here a long time to "get it." 

Edited by baobabs727
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12 minutes ago, baobabs727 said:

Respectfully, perhaps you're missing the point. It would've been an actual full-fledged brewery--not just another bar with a bunch of beer taps.  It would've been the only brewery in the house.  Probably the largest in ORF.  Giant stainless steel tanks in a glass box. There would've been tours.  Special brews, made right there for the District. Experiential, visually arresting, unique...to the building and to Norfolk. 

Now it's just another bar, ho-hum. BM will be the star now. Pardon the pun.

As to Vdogg's excellent and poignant point about bait and switch, the region's collective expectations, our historic/chronic disappointment and the ever-present chip on our shoulder, well, I guess you have to have lived here a long time to "get it." 

While the brewery would have been neat there wouldn't have been much to it.  I believe the initial plan only had a couple thousand square feet at most reserved for it.  It would never have been a "distribution" brewery.  O'Connors is actually pretty big...

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I think my big gripe with this was how the rooftop brewery was the first (or one of the first) places advertised with the new Waterside. The rooftop aspect was what really made the project stand out, IMO. It honestly had me sold on this being a big deal.

Don't get me wrong, I still look forward to Waterside and I won't say that it's not a big deal for the rebirth of downtown, but I am bummed that it's not happening. Then again, with Grain's rooftop being so popular, maybe it's for the better.

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1 hour ago, baobabs727 said:

Respectfully, perhaps you're missing the point. It would've been an actual full-fledged brewery--not just another bar with a bunch of beer taps.  It would've been the only brewery in the house.  Probably the largest in ORF.  Giant stainless steel tanks in a glass box. There would've been tours.  Special brews, made right there for the District. Experiential, visually arresting, unique...to the building and to Norfolk. 

Now it's just another bar, ho-hum. BM will be the star now. Pardon the pun.

As to Vdogg's excellent and poignant point about bait and switch, the region's collective expectations, our historic/chronic disappointment and the ever-present chip on our shoulder, well, I guess you have to have lived here a long time to "get it." 

No, I fully understand Vdogg's point. I share his sentiment that this area often seems to get shorted on many fronts. I do not agree that Starr Hill would have been a very large scale brewery, or in any way a substitute for having lost the Stone Brewery deal.

Yes, I understand the angst of this area missing out on projects. For your information I was born in Norfolk in 1962, and have lived here for over 54 years, so believe me,  I "get it."

Edited by NFKjeff
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10 minutes ago, NFKjeff said:

No, I fully understand Vdogg's point. I share his sentiment that this area often seems to get shorted on many fronts. I do not agree that Starr Hill would have been a very large scale brewery, or in any way a substitute for having lost the Stone Brewery deal.

Yes, I understand the angst of this area missing out on projects. For your information I was born in Norfolk in 1962, and have lived here for over 54 years, so believe me,  I "get it."

You seem to be hung up on the fact that it wouldn't have been a very big brewery. So it would've been an itty-bitty brewery with seven barrels and a half-dozen three-legged stools.  It would've still been a brewery and not a bar with a bunch of beer taps. 

And it would've been delivered as advertised:

"Starr Hill Brewery, based in Crozet, recently announced plans to operate a secondary location in Norfolk as part of a downtown entertainment complex known as The Waterside. The Starr Hill model will include food service and live entertainment. Technically a brewpub, the Starr Hill site will use a 7-barrel brewing system."

“We’re excited about this brewpub as it’s an opportunity for us to brew on a pilot brew system,” said Jack Goodall, Starr Hill’s marketing manager. “Currently, we only have a 25-bbl system at our brewery, which is not necessarily conducive for brewing smaller batches and doing R&D."

“The beers we’ll be able to experiment with and brew at the Norfolk location will benefit our portfolio overall. We see it as an opportunity to test new beers for larger distribution as well as brewing special batches just for limited releases. There’s also the opportunity to hold some great events in this new space, as well as right down by the waterfront."

http://virginiacraftbeer.com/the-future-is-now-for-satellite-breweries/

I'm not sure what part of the current iteration (surprise!) resembles the description from the man himself, above. 

Edited by baobabs727
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6 minutes ago, baobabs727 said:

You seem to be hung up on the fact that it wouldn't have been a very big brewery. So it would've been an itty-bitty brewery with seven barrels and a half-dozen three-legged stools.  It would've still been a brewery and not a bar with a bunch of beer taps. 

And it would've been delivered as advertised:

"Starr Hill Brewery, based in Crozet, recently announced plans to operate a secondary location in Norfolk as part of a downtown entertainment complex known as The Waterside. The Starr Hill model will include food service and live entertainment. Technically a brewpub, the Starr Hill site will use a 7-barrel brewing system."

“We’re excited about this brewpub as it’s an opportunity for us to brew on a pilot brew system,” said Jack Goodall, Starr Hill’s marketing manager. “Currently, we only have a 25-bbl system at our brewery, which is not necessarily conducive for brewing smaller batches and doing R&D."

“The beers we’ll be able to experiment with and brew at the Norfolk location will benefit our portfolio overall. We see it as an opportunity to test new beers for larger distribution as well as brewing special batches just for limited releases. There’s also the opportunity to hold some great events in this new space, as well as right down by the waterfront."

http://virginiacraftbeer.com/the-future-is-now-for-satellite-breweries/

I'm not sure what part of the current iteration (surprise!) resembles the description from the man himself, above. 

It would have been a brewery, but it wouldn't have been THAT big of a deal and nowhere near the level of Stone or even Green Flash. It would have been more like Liberty Brewery here in High Point (where I actually went tonight). It would have sold some beer on the premises and some food, maybe given a few tours... but would have generally been a regular restaurant/bar. The downgrade is still disappointing nonetheless.

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What we're missing out on is not the size and scale of a large brewery, but the opportunity to have a smaller experimental system where you'd get strange/weird brews for the testing grounds. If one of these experimental brews worked and became part of Starr Hill's permanent line-up, I bet you either the name of the brew or the packaging would in some way reference Norfolk. Starr Hill, from my experience, has a better distribution network up in NoVA and further north than a lot of our local brewers, so having beers from NFK distributed by them helps get our name out there.

 

Now, this isn't to say Norfolk doesn't have any experimental breweries (in fact, small-batch brewing is the mission of the soon-to-open Bearded Bird Brewing Co), or doesn't have good distribution (O'Connors in particular is starting to crack its way up north). But I do think having it as an actual brewery would be better for the city and for Waterside, and what it is now is a disappointing decrease in scale.

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Bummer. I think a brewery brings a bit of vibrancy to a place, no matter the size. Would have been cool to see all the equipment, people working, etc. Now just another bar with a bunch of taps. I agree with the bait-and-switch concerns. I wonder what happened?

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I don't know why this is such a surprise.  We've been talking about this for a few weeks that Star Hill is basically a beer kiosk in the middle of a glorified food court.  That said, I run down there at night and the riverfront is already activated by this place with tons of people walking around (and it's not even officially open yet).  So while we all know they're not going with what they sold us, it looks to be doing its job and will most likely be profitable.

Edited by Ghentite
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13 hours ago, carolinaboy said:

Bummer. I think a brewery brings a bit of vibrancy to a place, no matter the size. Would have been cool to see all the equipment, people working, etc. Now just another bar with a bunch of taps. I agree with the bait-and-switch concerns. I wonder what happened?

Cordish. All that needs to be said. See also Hampton.

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Waterside is packed. :)I'll be giving my initial impressions tonight, so far so good. I'll be returning tomorrow for Cinco de Mayo, but will probably be considerably less sober so I better give my review tonight. :lol: One thing I will say is that all of these places are having the same trouble as the Hilton keeping up with the crowd. I think it's all just growing pains and we'll have to patient as they get used to this level of business.

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I got a Facebook notification about the Cinco de Mayo event happening there...apparently it's already at capacity. I'm planning to go to Wine Fest this weekend. I might have to consider taking The Tide or an Uber.

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I'm taking a Lyft to the tide (cheaper), then taking a Lyft home. Only thing I worry about is the weather is supposed to be bad tomorrow. May put a damper on things. :(

Actually, it's supposed to clear out and warm up by 4 pm. May not be that bad.

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Blue Moon taphouse is huge! I had no idea it took up as much of Waterside as it does. It has 3 indoor bars, one outside bar, virtual golf, and 2 areas for performances, one inside and one outside. I'm impressed. It's what Starr Hill should have been.<_< Unfortunately, Starr Hill is exactly as puny as we feared it would be. They barely have a presence.

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Just returned from Waterside.... my thoughts: Very Nice and very busy! I enjoy the openness of the Market. Had dinner at Blue Moon. Ate the fish & chips and it was ok at best. While we ate outside, we could only order drinks outside and had to go to the bar to order food and they packaged it up in to-go packages. The wait staff were very nice but you could tell they were overwhelmed. One odd thing I found was no entrance into PBR from the market. I may have missed it, but it appears you only enter from the front outside??? 

Will return tomorrow night when I can stay out a bit later. I'm expecting a madhouse.

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