The Penn Brewery will be sticking around for the next five years – at least.
In an agreement reached late February and announced in a press conference on Feb. 28, the Penn Brewery had agreed to a new five-year lease and an option to renew for five more. Len Caric, the president and CEO of Penn Brewery, said that the company and the building owners were able to reach the deal with help from the Northside Leadership Conference and the Northside Community Development Fund.
Although Caric would not reveal specific dollar amounts, the Brewery will be giving up its administrative space within the building in exchange for a reduced rent. Caric had said publicly that landlords E&O and partners had raised the rent 360 percent on a potential new lease.
But they have resolved the issue and expect to be back brewing beer in the location soon. Earlier plans had the company brewing all of its beer offsite.
“The Northside has been a wonderful neighborhood for us and we’re glad to stay,” Caric said. He said that by working through the Conference and the Fund, he was able to sit down with the building owners and work out a deal, something that many people on the Northside were anxious to hear about.
“We heard from many people that we can’t leave, we can’t leave and we had no choice. It was unavoidable at the time,” Caric said.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was also there, and he called this agreement “another great Northside story” and that Pittsburgh continues to hear good news during an economic downturn that remains much worse in the rest of the country. He remembered his childhood and playing basketball at North Catholic, located in Troy Hill, and how the brewery restaurant was always crowded.
“I could never imagine the restaurant being anywhere else.”
Mark Fatla, the executive director of the Conference, said in a press release that “the amount of community engagement on this issue has been astounding.”
“From the history of the building, to the high quality of its products, and services to the memories created there, the people of this region have galvanized around this issue in recent months, pushing for an agreement,” Fatla said. “
This is wonderful news for the Northside.”
Both the brewery and the restaurant have been at the current location since 1987.
The restaurant will be closed March 2, to prepare the restaurant to remain open.