Feature Photos: Griffin Claw Brewing Company Breaks Ground in Rail District
Birmingham's newest brewery and restaurant will be located on Eton Street and co-owned by Bonnie LePage, wife of Big Rock owner Norman LaPage.
The dirt flew Thursday afternoon during the official groundbreaking for the Griffin Claw Brewing Co., the latest brainchild from Norman and Bonnie LePage, owners of the Big Rock Chop House and The Reserve.
The brewery, which will be located at 563 and 575 S. Eton St., is officially owned by Bonnie LePage and Mary Nicholson. The nearly 12,000-square-foot space will comprise of a brewery and adjoining tasting room as well as a restaurant with an outdoor beer garden.
The brewing company will also be the new home for Big Rock's award-winning beer and the restaurant's brewmaster, Dan Rogers, who will oversee all the brewing, distributing and operations for the facility.
However, this moment was a long time coming and it didn't arrive without a fight. Throughout Big Rock's approval process stretching back to fall 2011, area residents fought back, concerned with the potential for noise problems, light spilling over into adjoining neighborhoods and traffic congestion.
However, Bonnie LePage said she's been working with Griffin Claw's soon-to-be neighbors, including the Robot Garage next door, leading up to construction.
LePage said she's excited for the opening, though sometimes she can't believe it's actually happening.
"If you would have told me that I would be opening a brewery at my age," she said, shaking her head.
The groundbreaking ceremony involved the ceremonial first scoop of dirt as well as complementary food and beer at Big Rock.