Pottstown >> Sly Fox Brewing Co. is expanding again — this time into Berks County.
The company announced Wednesday that it will be opening a third location in Wyomissing, in a renovated building that was formerly part of the VF Outlets.
The newest Sly Fox outpost will be located at 801 Hill Ave. in a building that most recently housed a Dooney & Bourke retail store.
“It’s very exciting. We think it’s going to be a great set-up,” John Giannopoulos, Sly Fox Brewing Co. president said in an interview Wednesday. “We want to further enhance our brand and get people more familiar with it. We look forward to immersing ourselves in the community. I feel really good about the area.” He added that Sly Fox plans to work with local charities and will create activities at the new location.
Philadelphia-based Equus Capital Partners purchased the 24-acre center from Vanity Fair Corporation at the end of 2016 with the intention of redeveloping it as a mixed-use campus. Equus has committed more than $70M into Phase I of the Knitting Mills, and Phase II, a 20-acre site north of the main campus, has already attracted corporate tenants interested in new construction build-to-suit offices, according to a press release.
In addition to retaining the retail outlets and McDonald’s, the campus will be anchored by a new Wawa and corporate office users such as UGI Services’ regional headquarters and Tower Health’s corporate offices.
“Wyomissing is a booming neighborhood,” Giannopoulos said in the release. “There are large employers, great residential sections, a museum, and improvement happening all over. There are tons of great street festivals, events and the restaurant selection is top notch. We are very excited we are to be part of the future growth here.”
While the new pub will be the company’s first brick and mortar location in Berks, it is not the company’s first foray into the county. This season marks Sly Fox’s third season affiliated with the Reading Fightins — as sponsor of the team’s Power Alley Pub at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“We’re active with the Fightins — we participate in a lot of the things they do,” Giannopoulos added.
In July 2017, Sly Fox Brewing Co. announced that it would be the exclusive beer provider for GoggleWorks in downtown Reading, as part of the center’s planned hospitality expansion. GoggleWorks plans to add a bistro on the ground floor of GoggleWorks, on Washington Street in Reading.
Incorporated in 1906, Berkshire Knitting Mill began as an experimental hosiery factory and for a time, was the largest fashion knitting mill in the world, according to the release.
The building that will house the new Sly Fox Brewing Co. is a more than 7,000 square foot building that features two floors and will include a newly installed wrap-around deck. The plan, according to Giannopoulos, is to include 100-year-old bricks from the original Berkshire Knitting Mills, in the Sly Fox decor and buildout.
“We’re hoping to use a lot of the brick to bring the history of the location forward,” he said Wednesday.
Giannopoulos said the two-level building will feature the dining and bar area upstairs and a game room on the lower level. That space will be big enough he said, for shuffleboard, ping pong, Cornhole games, TVs, a lounge area and a stage.
“It’s designed to be flexible. And the idea is, that the games will be moveable,” Giannopoulos said, adding that the lower level has room for an indoor Kan Jam Tournament.
“We are thrilled to get Sly Fox as a lead tenant and believe they will attract other restaurants and stores as well as providing an important amenity for the employees located on campus and residents of Wyomissing and West Reading,” said Kevin Flannery, acquisition associate and asset manager at Equus Capital Partners, Ltd.
Flannery added in an interview Thursday that the goal is to have Sly Fox Brewing up and running between “late summer and late fall.” For his part, Giannopoulos said he is hoping for late summer, but recognizes it may be fall.
“The goal is to have them in the building in time for Oktoberfest,” Flannery said.
Flannery added that Equus will prepare the building “according to the specs we have done other buildings on campus.” Sly Fox will then make its improvements.
Sly Fox Brewing Co. announcement follows several changes the brewery has recently made. Those changes include a brand refresh and three new offerings: Sly Fox Mudlust Coffee Porter, Vulpulin IPA and Alex’s Lemon Wheat, a brew that benefits the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Since its inaugural brew in 1995, Sly Fox has crafted more than 100 different craft beers. Sly Fox Brewing Co. products are available in the company’s brewpubs in Phoenixville and Pottstown, as well as bars and restaurants in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
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