A year after opening, Lagunitas has closed its Charleston taproom indefinitely for construction

Closed until further notice

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JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
A year after opening at 161 East Bay Street, Lagunitas Brewing Co. has temporarily shuttered to shore up the F.W. Wagener Building.

Constructed in 1880 by architect Francis Lee, Lagunitas took over the turn-of-the-century property from former tenant Southend Brewery last June. Immediately following the purchase, the Petaluma, Calif.-based brewery set about renovating the space, making cosmetic changes with bright paint and new, some might say gaudy, decor, much to the disappointment of many couples with standing wedding reservations in the space. As we reported in June of last year, one bride said, "It basically goes from rustic and historic to looking like someone's garage. I know a lot of other people have been affected." Needless to say, she canceled her wedding reception there.

Now the TapRoom and Beer Sanctuary is closed and staffers have been let go to get the structure shored up. "We've been working on the interior structure since we last September and for the last four months, we've had scaffolding up on the exterior," says Karen Hamilton, Lagunitas' marketing director. "After we took it over, we discovered that the building needed a lot of work! Once we realized the extent of it, we knew we could no longer do the work while open to the public."

Currently Lagunitas does not have a timeline for reopening.

"We are finding new issues daily," says Hamilton. "So the most responsible thing is to close and help our current team find new employment. That is what we are doing right now and we've had some very generous offers from existing and new local businesses who are in need of trained staff.

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