By Peter Osborne
Bellefonte Brewing Co. will open a second location this summer in North Wilmington, in a space CEO/CFO Neil Shea says offers much more room and flexibility than its current location in an industrial park near Price's Corner.
The new limited brewery at 1851 Marsh Road in Plaza 3 of the Branmar Plaza will have about 6,000 square feet and will accommodate somewhere "north of 250 people," pending Fire Marshall input, Shea said. His current location at 3605 Old Capital Trail is 2,500 square feet and a 98-person capacity.
That building is in an industrial park that limits what Bellefonte Brewing can do outside the building.
"People want to have weddings in a bigger building in the most desirable zip code in Delaware," said Shea, who is partnered with fellow Salesianum School graduate Brandon Walker and head brewer Joe Jacobs on the 3-year-old brewery venture. We've learned that "folks up here don't like to drive to Newark and Hockessin."
Bellefonte is looking at partnering with some nearby restaurants to offer patrons delivery of food, he added.
The 29-year-old Shea, a serial entrepreneur who also owns The Dirt Squad and Just Say Cheezy photo booths, said he expects Bellefonte Brewing to cut back to 10 regular production beers from the current 16 once the company opens its new location. It recently partnered with Brew Ha-Ha and Brandywine Coffee Roasters to launch Bean Laughing Black Coffee IPA, a limited-edition coffee/beer blend.
Shea would not discuss the cost of opening the new location beyond saying he's doing it with private funding. He did say he expects renovations by the property owner to be completed by mid-May when his team will begin a custom build-out before opening in mid-to-late summer.