Owner surveys damage at Boylan Bridge Brewpub in 2016
The damage is worse than originally thought at the Boylan Bridge Brewpub, known for its view of downtown Raleigh.
City inspectors closed the brewpub indefinitely on Feb. 10 after one of its basement walls collapsed under the weight of water from a leaky sprinkler.
After a week of inspections, owner Andrew Leager says the pub will not only stay closed on its seventh birthday, Feb. 27, but also may never reopen. The load-bearing wall, which runs parallel to Boylan Avenue and holds up the upstairs patio, may be too damaged to replace, Leager said.
“It’s pretty grim,” Leager said Thursday. “I’ve turned loose all the staff. It may be that we can’t come back.”
If the wall can be fixed and repairs aren’t too expensive, reconstruction could take about six months, he said.
“It’s going to be a very expensive repair for that building,” he said. “It’s a very dangerous and consequential and uncertain thing.”
It’s also unlikely that the brewpub will be able to reopen its building even if it keeps the patio closed, Leager said. The brewpub’s options will become clearer after further inspection in the next week or so, he said.
The basement, where he keeps a woodworking shop, is still a mess. Rubble covers the floor on the south end, underneath Boylan Bridge. Meanwhile, outdoors, the brewpub is now surrounded by more yellow tape and orange barricades than it was last week.
“We’re staying way away from the wall,” he said. “It’s still unstable, so I can’t go in and get my equipment.”
If and when construction crews fix the walls, they’ll have to rebuild the famous deck too, Leager said. It’ll need to be taken all the way down to the soil.
“We’ll have to take down the pergola … and then maybe we can rebuild all the way up to where the deck was and put a concrete floor where the wood floor was.”
Leager said his landlord expressed “strong interest” in keeping the brewpub alive, so he’s trying to stay positive. He’s eager to resume opening his barrel-making plant, Boylan Barrelworks, and distillery, “Hargett Hill Distillery,” which he recently trademarked.
Still, the view’s not as nice as it once was.
“It’s like my beautiful bride has suddenly grown a mustache,” he said.