New business brewing on New Port Richey's Main Street

By Sarah Blazonis, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, March 12, 2018, 8:56 AM EDT

Six months after New Port Richey leaders amended its land development code to allow small breweries in some areas, two new businesses are getting ready to open on Main St.

  • New business brewing on New Port Richey's Main Street
  • First craft beers brewed in the city
  • Opening by early-to-mid-May

“We’ll be the first to open. I don’t know if we’ll be the first to brew,” said Brett Ciper, co-owner of the brewpub Ordinance One.

Ciper said he hoped to open his doors by mid-March, but the first craft beers brewed in the city are expected to be made just down the street at the Cotee River Brewing Company. Owner and head brewer Bryan Hackman said he plans to welcome customers by early-to-mid-May at the latest. While that business will likely open with guest taps, five core beers should be available shortly after.

According to Ciper, Ordinance One beers will likely be available within the year.

“It will only be sold within these four walls, so you have to come here to get it,” Ciper said. “It won’t be in Tampa, it won’t be in Orlando – it’ll just be here.”

The brewpubs are possible because of a land development code amendment passed by the city council back in September. It changed permitted uses in a number of districts in the following ways:

• General Commercial District – adds brewpubs

• Highway Commercial District – adds brewpubs, microbreweries, tap rooms, and beer gardens

• Downtown District – adds brewpubs

• Light Industrial District – adds brewpubs, microbreweries, tap rooms, and beer gardens

Ciper said for him, the brewing aspect of his business will be key.

“It just adds a dynamic to a city that wants to grow,” he said. “Every city’s got one, and there’s smaller cities that have ten plus. So, it’s going to be a great thing.”

New Port Richey Economic Development Director Mario Iezzoni said there was demand from potential business owners even before the amendment.

“We were approached by microbreweries,” he said. “We actually literally handed them the ordinance and said, ‘Please write this for us.’”

Iezzoni said adding this kind of business is viewed as the next step in downtown revitalization. With many downtowns losing retail businesses through the years to online sales, he said the natural growth is going to be in restaurants.

“What we know from millennials is that, in addition to a good product, they want a really great experience, and microbreweries provide that,” Iezzoni said.

Iezzoni said he continues to field inquiries from these kinds of businesses, and the challenge now is finding the right locations for them.