Beer Store relocates to Highway 35
After 34 years located on Water Street, the Beer Store will move to a location along Highway 35 in Minden.
Site prep work recently got underway on what has been the field located next to Dollo’s Foodland. The Beer Store is the first phase of a multi-phase commercial development planned for the property.
“The first phase is just going to be the Beer Store,” said Jamie Chisholm of New Urban Retail, the company behind the development.
Chisholm said the new Beer Store will occupy approximately 5,000 square feet and that his company is looking for clients for other spaces. The plan is for another 25,000 of commercial space on the property.
Tom Lucas, director of real estate and construction of the Beer Store, said getting the Minden location out of the flood plain of the Gull River was the biggest factor in the decision to relocate.
“That was 90 per cent of the reasoning,” he said, making reference to the 2013 flood.
It will likely be the end of next summer before the new store is complete.
“Realistically, it’s probably a late-summer opening,” he said.
Minden’s Beer Store has been in its current location since 1981.
“It’s an old building, it doesn’t have enough space,” said Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin.
Devolin said he’s pleased that Minden will be getting a Beer Store with better accessibility and parking, and that the building will be modern.
“We’re going to be on the newest template,” he said, adding that with more space on Beer Store floors now available for craft beer, there may be opportunity for the county’s two breweries.
While Devolin said historically in Minden there has been a view that commercial development along Highway 35 comes at the sacrifice at the downtown, “I would say that’s not the case,” he said.
Downtown can’t provide the space that some retailers need, the reeve said.
“Is our downtown going through a revolution?” Devolin said. “Yes.”
The township is knocking down Pritchard House and the house it owns next door at 2 Prince St. The fire hall, located along the same strip, will one day no longer be required when the township builds a new fire hall on property it is buying from the county along Highway 35.
Devolin, citing Ottawa’s Byward Market, hinted around transforming these properties into usable public space.
“We’re not forgetting about the downtown,” he said, pointing to Riverwalk, the boardwalk and the new addition of the farmers’ market as assets that draw people into the village.
This summer was the first year the Haliburton County Farmers’ Market Association has run a market in Minden.