City Taps Down on Hardywood Crowds 

click to enlarge Summertime won’t be as crowded at Hardywood, with the city zeroing in on occupancy issues. - SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
  • Summertime won’t be as crowded at Hardywood, with the city zeroing in on occupancy issues.

Mayor Dwight Jones gave Hardywood Park Brewery an award June 12 that recognized the business for its rapid growth. Exactly one week later, city inspectors gave the brewery a second certificate — limiting the occupancy of its thriving, on-premises tasting area to 50.

Before the change, the bar regularly packed in crowds in the hundreds, despite the brewery's off-the-beaten-path location in an industrial no-man's land between Hermitage Road and Interstate 95. The space has played host to bands, square dances and private parties.

What happened? The city employee who handled the occupancy issue is on vacation, city spokesman Michael Wallace says. But Hardywood co-founder Patrick Murtaugh says the sudden limitation was spurred by a visit from the fire marshal, who noted the facility's occupancy permit was for manufacturing rather than assembly.

"It's basically, when we first opened up in 2011, we were strictly manufacturing," Murtaugh says. Then the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation allowing for breweries to offer onsite tastings, like wineries can do. "Once the law changed and we were able to start sell glasses of beer, we've had more people come in."

Murtaugh says the brewery is working with an architect to make necessary upgrades — probably the addition of some bathrooms and a sprinkler system — in an effort to get certified for an occupancy level closer to 100. Murtaugh hopes to have the issue sorted out by winter.

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

  • Re: High Alert: Paramedics Are Poised to Counter Richmond’s Rise in Overdoses

    • Actually the only problem this is an issue is because Heroin has flooded out from…

    • on September 30, 2016
  • Re: Short and Sweet: Why I Want to Be Mayor of Richmond

    • Joe needs to rethink his messing with the statue. Joe already is splitting his vote…

    • on September 29, 2016
  • Re: Geronimo Aguilar's story sounds like something ripped from a Christian bestseller. Is he the next great hope for Richmond's inner city?

    • I have spent the last 5 hours reading much of what I had no idea…

    • on September 29, 2016
  • More »
  • More by Ned Oliver

    • Auto Spying

      Virginia lawmakers are fighting against the use of license-plate scanners by police. But what about the people privately watching your whereabouts?
      • Apr 28, 2015
    • City Explores Tax on Richmond Airbnb Rentals

      • Apr 21, 2015
    • Flash Forward

      Richmond is getting a $54 million, high-speed bus line right down Broad Street. But do we need it? Here are the answers to seven questions you might be asking.
      • Apr 21, 2015
    • More »

    Copyright © 2016 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation