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Former Spokane Brewery Long On History, Potential Plans Call For Opening A New Brewery In Renovated Building

Sun., Oct. 5, 1997

The Schade Brewery might house a beer maker again, 40 years after the last one closed.

In its 94-year history, the building at 528 E. Trent has been home to three breweries - the original B. Schade Brewing Co., Golden Age Breweries and Bohemian Breweries.

New owner Mark Leonard plans to remake the Schade Brewery into Schade Towers, an entertainment complex complete with a brewery, upscale restaurant, antique mall and numerous small vendors.

He also plans to celebrate the Schade’s history by compiling a book chronicling it through old articles, photographs and letters. Leonard welcomes anyone with information about the old brewery to contact him and share those memories.

Leonard also plans to offer free tours of the building every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Documents provide this brief glimpse of the building’s history: The Schade (shah-DAY) Brewery was built in 1903 at a reported cost of $265,000 by brewer Bernhardt Schade, who moved from Germany to Spokane in 1892. The brewery was rock-solid, built of reinforced concrete and brick, with walls three and a half feet thick.

Schade began brewing beer, prospering until statewide Prohibition hit in 1916.

Schade was devastated, but struggled along, making “near beer” and soda pop. In 1921, with the business declining and his health failing, Schade killed himself.

The building sat vacant for many years after the brewery closed. In the beginning of the Great Depression, it became a shelter for transients, know as Hotel de Gink. It was run by the residents and supported by the city and business people.

In 1933, after Prohibition was repealed, Golden Age Breweries bought the building and updated the equipment. It brewed beer until 1948, employing about 150 people.

In 1948, the building was sold to Bohemian Breweries, a division of Atlantic Brewing Co. of Chicago.

Bohemian owned and operated it until 1957, when Inland Metals bought the building, using it for a scrap metal business.

In 1977, a Spokane contractor paid $200,000 for the building, with plans to restore it and convert it into a private museum. The plans fell through and the building fell into disrepair.

Louis and Gailya Bonzon bought the building for $500,000 in 1991 and sank hundreds of thousands into restorations. They operated a carpet store in the back, brought in two new restaurants and ran an antique market in front. The Bonzons also had the building placed on the local and national historic registries.

They fell short of funds in 1997 and offered the building for sale.

The bank foreclosed on the building and Leonard bought it in September in a trustee sale.

, DataTimes MEMO: See related story under the headline: New day for Schade

See related story under the headline: New day for Schade

Tags: business

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