RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Business is brewing again at a Raleigh pub forced to close more than a year ago. The Boylan Bridge Brewpub officially reopened at noon Monday.
For years it’s been one of the most popular outdoor dining spots in Raleigh. The view brings people just as much as the food and drinks, but last year all that changed when a wall collapsed in the basement, taking the roof with it.
Owner Andrew Leager said 15-foot-deep water built up behind the wall before breaking through.
Now 15 months later, with a new roof and wall, the pub reopened after a process Leager thought would take just three months.
“I’m astonished that we’ve been able to hang on. It’s been very expensive,” he said.
Aside from his manager, all staff left; Leager hired a mostly all new staff.
“I feel like I’ve been on a long sea voyage and I’m coming home,” he said.
Mary Sharp was first to be served.
“I just thought it’d be fund to come on the first day,” she said.
Robert Mercer proposed to his wife, Carolyn, at the pub six years ago. Now they’re back after missing a place that’s meant so much.
“It was sad. On all the nice days I would just be like, ‘We should go there.’ But we weren’t able to. We’re glad it’s back and we want to support them,” Carolyn said.
Leager’s happily-ever-after includes a new private dining area at the pub, plus a barrel-making operation and a distillery to fill them
The barrels-and-distillery plan was in the works for years, but working to reopen the pub delayed the process.
The barrel-making operation should be up and running later this summer or early fall and the distillery sometime next year.
The brewpub held a soft launch Saturday.
It’s in its eighth year, not counting the time it closed.