Old Churches 5: Let’s Have a Drink

 Gosh, I hope this link works. This should take you to a short film about Steeplejack Brewing, a brewery, restaurant and coffee house in Portland, OR. It used to be a church, but two female craft brewers bought the building and turned it into this magnificent facility.

We went there today for lunch, because one must scope these things out! And I can immediately see why the church had difficulties, as a church. If there had ever been a parking lot, it is built over. The street has been widened so there is no more parking. What the congregation did of a Sunday with their cars there is no knowing.

But inside, wow! The altar area, under the big stained glass window, has been transformed into the brewing area. Large shiny tanks and pipework abound. Some of the pews have been repurposed for seating, and the actual bar is at the other end. Admire the way the roof trusses have been preserved!

The difficult thing with this kind of project is updating the physical plant. Air conditioning, a solid roof, handicapped access — all of this is necessary if you’re hoping to run a restaurant. This is not cheap to do, but the two women brewers who founded Steeplejack have done it perfectly. Observe these roof beams, with lights and music speakers neatly and appropriately attached. Stained glass windows, the gilt capitals to the columns, all of it’s cleaned up and beautiful, ready to delight everybody for another hundred years. Magnificent — and the smashburgers were very good as well.

 

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