June 20, 2013 in Business, Food, Voices

Perry Street craft brewery expected to open in fall

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Spokane’s craft-brewing community will get a new contributor this fall when Ben and Christy Lukes open Perry Street Brewing Co. in the South Perry District.

The Lukes, who moved last year from Missoula, to Spokane, will be the anchor tenants in a 4,400-square-foot new building at the corner of South Perry and 11th Avenue.

The couple recently signed a lease with Dave and Cody Coombs, the father-son developers of the new commercial building.

This will be the first business venture for the Lukes, who said the company will be the South Hill’s first in-house beer-making operation.

It’s also the first new-construction project for the Coombs, who worked together several years ago when Dave Coombs owned the Downtown Honda and Toyota dealerships in Spokane. The Coombs worked together renovating a commercial building in Spokane Valley last year.

In 2009, after more than 30 years in car retailing, Dave Coombs sold the dealerships and began focusing on real estate, he said.

Dave Coombs and Ben Lukes both said they wanted to base the business in the thriving South Perry District.

“I love the idea of doing a brewpub in the Perry District,” said Ben Lukes, whose last job was in Missoula’s Big Sky Brewing Co., the maker of popular ales such as Moose Drool and Trout Slayer.

His wife, Christy, grew up in Spokane and backed the plan to put their brewery in a neighborhood setting instead of a commercial strip.

Lukes said the business will start small, making a handful of beers and looking for distributors to build sales. Having worked in high-end bottling at Big Sky, he enjoys testing new styles and mixing flavors, he said.

“We’ll have an ale, a Belgian-style beer and always at least one lager,” he said. Some of the brews will age in wine barrels.

Ground preparation started this week at the South Perry site, where a residence used to stand. The Coombses said they plan to finish the construction by September, and the Lukeses expect to open their doors in October.

The brewing company will take about two-thirds of the building; the remaining office area is still unfilled, but Dave Coombs said he’s received plenty of inquiries from prospective tenants.

Coombs said the cost of construction will be between $500,000 and $550,000. Spokane-based Baker Construction is the general contractor.

Cody Coombs said working with his father helped him scale the project to a manageable level.

“My first plan was that we needed a huge two-story brownstone there,” he said. “Which would be awesome. But he told me it doesn’t pencil out at the end of the day, and he’s right,” he said. “We really can’t do the Taj Mahal on that corner.”

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