GREENVILLE — After being on the market for more than a year, a West Michigan restaurant and brewery has sold to new owners.
HMV Holdings LLC closed on a deal Dec. 4 to acquire 57 Brew Pub and Bistro in Greenville, northeast of Grand Rapids. The transaction for the assets also included the brewpub’s real estate at 1310 W. Washington St., also known as M-57.
Andy Hurst, Jason Maher and Marc Vander Velde, the partners in the new holding company, pursued the Montcalm County business for more than half a year.
“We are just a group of buddies who just enjoy craft beer, and we all have business interests in the Greenville area,” Vander Velde said. “We like the community, and we just saw there was an opportunity to upgrade that place into something that us and our families would want to go hang out in.”
The company plans to retain the staff at 57 Brew Pub, and expects to unveil new food and beer menus starting in early 2018, said Vander Velde, who owns three convenience stores: Greenville-based Log Cabin, Belding, Mich.-based Marathon Gas, and the Caledonia-based Marathon Cherry Valley.
“The first thing we are going to do is open up the beer menu,” Vander Velde said. “Currently, we only serve our own beers that we brew, so we are going to add a bunch of taps and we are going to serve branded beer, … the nationally recognized brands like Bell’s and Founders.”
57 Brew Pub is licensed by the state as a brewpub, meaning that it cannot distribute its beer outside of its own taproom. Because brewpubs also have a Class C liquor license, they are allowed to sell other breweries’ beers, as well as liquor and wine.
In 2016, 57 Brew Pub sold 166 barrels of its own beer, down about 19 percent from 206 barrels the prior year, according to data from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.
Grand Rapids-based M&A firm Calder Capital LLC represented seller Ollie Inc. in the deal after former owners Bob and Dottie Olsen wanted to retire.
Interest for the brewpub came from people far and wide, said Calder Capital Managing Partner Max Friar.
“There was a ton of interest in the deal,” he said. “We had buyers inquiring weekly on the property. There is a sex appeal with brewpubs, and (57 Brew Pub) had some awards under their belt.”
Friar said three groups submitted written offers for the business, and more than 100 interested buyers signed non-disclosure agreements to inquire about the company. That the business sold to local partners was icing on the cake, he added.
“I think the cool part of it is keeping (ownership) in Greenville — there is an angle there that feels good,” he said. “(The partners) are already invested in Greenville. Who your buyer is and where they are from matters.”