Stone Brewing has cut itself loose from its bistro in Germany while a similar concept it’s planning in Richmond remains in limbo.
The San Diego-based brewer announced Friday it has sold its World Bistro & Gardens – Berlin to Brewdog, a Scottish chain of breweries and brewpubs.
The Berlin facility, which opened in September 2016, was the same concept that Stone has been planning for nearly four years in Richmond’s Fulton neighborhood and still is being negotiated with the city.
In a blog post on Stone’s website, Greg Koch, executive chairman, wrote that the Berlin bistro was “too big, too bold, too soon.” Koch also lamented construction delays and frustration with contractors during buildout.
“We invested a significant portion of a decade and significant millions building Stone Berlin. And it didn’t work out,” Koch writes.
Per a San Diego Union-Tribune report, the Berlin bistro cost Stone at least $25 million to renovate and build.
The terms of the sale to Brewdog were not disclosed.
Stone now operates two bistros, both in the San Diego area.
Its Richmond World Bistro & Gardens has been planned for the Intermediate Terminal building at 3101 E. Main St. as part of a 2015 economic development deal that included $8 million in bonds from the city to renovate the property.
But last year the city and Stone changed course and began seeking City Council approval to demolish the building, saying it was structurally insufficient for the bistro project. The state’s Department of Historic Resources declared the building ineligible for historic preservation last summer.
After 10 delayed council votes in 2018, Stone asked that the amendment be pulled from council’s agenda in November so it could consider other options for bringing a bistro to Richmond.
The project has remained up in the air since then.
Stone spokeswoman Lizzie Younkin said Friday they are continuing conversations with the Richmond Economic Development Authority.
The Berlin sale aside, Younkin said the company’s U.S. sales volume is still increasing year over year, fueled in part by its large Richmond production and distribution facility that opened in 2016 just up the street from the Intermediate Terminal site and for which the city floated $23 million in bonds.
“Our Richmond facility is an integral part of our business – supplying almost two-thirds of our distributors. We will continue to invest in our RVA facility, as we’re doing now with a $1 million expansion project currently underway,” Younkin said.