Its basement retaining wall is in pieces, but one of Raleigh’s most popular restaurants is raising money to ensure its business doesn’t collapse.
The Boylan Bridge Brewpub, which inspectors closed on Feb. 10 after the wall collapsed, plans to sell beer for $1 a pint on Sunday to raise money to help pay for reconstruction costs. The efforts could cost “six figures” and take another three months, said Andrew Leager, the brewpub’s owner.
The “Mayday Stave-off the Cave-In Recovery Rally” is scheduled to take place from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The brewpub is known for its outdoor patio that has a view of downtown Raleigh. The patio and basement will be closed off, but Leager said he got permission from the state ABC board to hold a gathering in the main indoor dining area.
Fans of the brewpub inspired the fundraiser when they offered support when the future of the business was still in doubt, Leager said. But he also has a lot of beer to get rid of.
“The outpouring of support was a catalyst for this, but really it was the beer,” Leager said.
“We couldn’t let it just sit there and grow stale,” he said. “We don’t know if it’ll still be good by the time construction is finished.”
The brewpub had 49 barrels of its craft beer – enough for 12,000 pints – in stock when the wall collapsed. Leager hopes to also raise money by offering gifts adorned with the brewpub’s logo to people who donate certain amounts.
Among the gifts: “wooden nickels” to those who donate $30, a pint glass to those who donate $50 and a T-shirt to those who donate $100, among other gifts. Leager says he’s prepared to give a 25-gallon barrel to anyone who donates $2,000.
He doesn’t have a fundraising goal in mind, but thinks he could raise thousands from $30 donations alone. Leager knows of dozens of people who like the nickels, which he crafted himself.
“They carry it in their pocket or set it on their desk,” he said. “I can’t think of a better advertising tool.”