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Brewery Eyes Late Spring, Early Summer Opening Downtown

Pictured is the former home to Jamestown Brewing Company on West Second Street in Jamestown. A Warren-based brewery and restaurant is looking to open at the location in June or July. P-J photo by Eric Tichy

What’s “wicked” in Warren may be a jackpot for Jamestown.

On Wednesday, the Jamestown Local Development Corp. approved a 10-year, $350,000 loan to Wicked Jimmy’s LLC. If approved by the Jamestown City Council, the funds will go toward the $2.2 million acquisition and redevelopment of the former Jamestown Brewing Company building on the corner of Washington and West Third streets.

Drew Erlandson spoke to JLDC members about what has been a years-long effort to expand the Warren County brewery and pizza shop to Jamestown. He said the new location — which will likely keep the Wicked Warren’s name — will employ 15 workers in the kitchen and another 15 in the front of the house.

“We’ve done great in Warren,” said Erlandson, who will serve as head brewer in Jamestown. “We made it through COVID and staff coming and going when we first opened. … I see it going really well. We have such an eclectic menu of both food and beer that I think it’s really going to be great for the community. I’m super excited.”

News that Wicked Warren’s was looking to take over the vacant West Second Street brewery broke in January after the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency approved a 20-year loan for $950,000.

Owner Robert Roth told county IDA members last month that his Warren location was tight on space.

“We’re always getting sold out there,” he said. “People are coming in the door but we don’t have any place to seat them. This complex, being almost 35,000 square feet, gives us plenty of options for seating and dining.”

Jamestown Brewing Co. did not last more than a year when it opened its doors in 2020. Its owners were beset by construction delays, the COVID-19 pandemic and eventually lawsuits before pulling the plug.

Erlandson said they want to shore up their finances before applying for a license to produce beer on site, a process that could take two to three months. With a license in hand, the brewing process itself takes just two weeks.

He said they’re currently working on getting a lease agreement because the building’s current owner, George Patti, cannot sell until July 1. The plan is to get inside by late March or early April, obtain the liquor license in a couple of months and then start brewing.

“Everything is functional. Everything is clean,” he said regarding the equipment’s condition. “Of course, we’ll blast it again when we get ready. But I was expecting the worst when I went in. … So, we’re off to a good start there.”

At the earliest, Erlandson hopes Wicked Warren’s will open its Jamestown location by late June or early July.

“I think that’s kind of our plan going forward,” he said.

Because the JLDC loan approved Wednesday exceeds $100,000, it will need to go before the Jamestown City Council.

Mayor Kim Ecklund expressed support for the new business, one that will create 30 new jobs and fill a vacant downtown property.

“This isn’t something that just came up real recently,” Ecklund said. “They have been working on this for a while. It’s very developed — it’s very thought out. I appreciate you guys sticking with it. It’s been a tough subject for all of us so thank you.”

In other business, the board approved a $75,000 loan to Dan Borg-Sundstrom, the new owner of Forte at 114 E. Third St., Jamestown.

Borg-Sundstrom recently purchased Forte from its longtime owner, Peggy Kaltenmeier. The restaurant reopened late last year.

The loan, which will not require City Council approval, will help free up working capital for other upgrades.

Dan Borg-Sundstrom is no stranger to local restaurant ownership. Several years ago he opened his first place, 2 Ames, at Chautauqua Institution.

At Forte, the restaurant has been featuring Southeast Asian cuisine as well as more traditional fare such as hamburgers and mac and cheese.

“If you look at the menu, there is something that will suit everybody,” Borg-Sundstrom told JLDC members.

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