New businesses move ahead in Washington

Washington, N.C. (WNCT)- The city of Washington is one step closer in its efforts to revitalize its downtown area.

“That’s what we need down here,” said Charles Kenny, longtime resident. “Revitalization.”

Washington may soon see exactly that with the help of a new micro-distillery and brew pub.

“I have never ever seen a gin distillery so I think it’s actually something that’s going to change things up a little bit and really bring people in,” Stuart Egli, a visitor to the area. “And that’s what this downtown needs, it needs more traffic.”

City officials plan to use state grant funding to help the Hackney Distillery rehabilitate the former bank into a micro-distillery, restaurant and boutique hotel. Across the street, the former merchandise store will be converted into castle island brewery. Earlier this month, the city council voted to lend $500,000 in grant funding to New Vision Partners to complete the renovation. Both businesses are the talk of the town, not just for those who enjoy the party scene.

“A lot of older people like to get out and have a beer or something,” said Kenny, “a new experience, a little food, wine and dine. Bring your wife and give her a little wine.”

As the projects continue to make progress, not only are the locals getting excited but so are the local shop owners that will be surrounding the future distillery and brewery.

“A place like a distillery or brewery, microbrewery will do nothing but bring more people downtown,” said Doris Schneider, co-owner of Lemonade Art Gallery and Gifts, “more people, more potential for sales.”

With the financial support in place, the businesses will hopefully soon be more than just blueprints.

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