SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Progress is being made on a new restaurant and brewery in downtown Salinas, with the owners giving KION a sneak peek inside the old Rabobank building on Friday.
It sits still basically empty, but the people behind it say it is going to fit in perfectly with the oldtown style and vibe.
"It's something I've always wanted. It's always seemed like a really logical fit for us being that 90 percent of our beer is produced down the street at Spreckels Junction over here," said JC Hill, the Alvarado on Main co-founder and owner/operator.
Hill helped start the two Alvarado Street Brewery locations on the peninsula: one in Monterey in 2014, then in Carmel a few years later.
He now wants to bring the Alvarado experience to downtown Salinas, especially since many people from there he says are already fans.
"You know, they gotta drive all the way to the peninsula or Carmel. It makes sense for them to just come to this beautiful downtown that's already here and keep building on that momentum," said Hill.
"I would used to drive to Monterey to like hang out at the bars because here, we didn't really have a lot," said Marina, a Salinas resident.
Development like this was made possible after the Salinas City Council adopted the adaptive reuse ordinance a couple years ago, which allowed for the refurbishing of historic buildings into new commercial and housing projects.
The city also spent the last year revitalizing the downtown area with new sidewalks, benches, two-way traffic and, of course, the brand new arch. Residents say they are excited about the future of downtown.
"I do think that it's going to bring more people to our downtown, which is a place that was kind of like forgotten. So not a lot of people would come and hang out in this area. It's a beautiful part of Salinas, so I'm very excited for Alvarado opening here," said Marina.
Breweries like these tend to bring in a lot of tourists and residents alike. In terms of style, the owners want to try and capture as much of the historic feel of the old building as it was during the 1930s and 40s.
This time, it'll be called Alvarado on Main.
"Obviously bringing our modern sense of craft beer and food that speaks to the Salinas Valley, we're just really excited to be a part of downtown," said Hill.
The owners are hoping to get Alvarado on Main up and running by spring of next year, but perhaps a little sooner if construction goes well.
PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Owners of Alvarado Street Brewery have confirmed a new restaurant and bar will open in Salinas, replacing part of the old Rabobank building in Old Town.
Founder and Director of Brewing, J.C. Hill says the new site will be named "Alvarado on Main" and will be similar to the Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea locations, offering food and drink to guests.
Hill says the city still expects to develop residential apartments above the restaurant/bar, as part of a renovation effort in Old Town Salinas.
According to Hill, the Alvarado on Main project is hopeful for a Spring 2022 opening.
"We've been fortunate enough to navigate through the pandemic and continue to grow and prosper as a company," says Hill.
The pandemic forced Alvarado Street Brewery owners to adjust, leading to the closure of the Spreckels/Salinas tasting room early-on in the pandemic.
That tasting room off Dayton Street is expected to be open in July or August now, says Hill.
"Downtown Salinas was always front of mind," says Hill. "It's close to home, our production brewery headquarters in Spreckels and we have amazing fans here."
KION's Josh Kristianto will have more at 10 and 11 p.m.