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Steel String Brewery raises money to install an outside patio

The establishment has started a fundraising page to bring in $20,000.

Steel String Brewery in Carrboro might lose its outdoor seating.
Steel String Brewery in Carrboro might lose its outdoor seating.

A Carrboro brewery is trying to take its craft beer to new places — by expanding its territory with outside seating.

Steel String Brewery, located on South Greensboro Street in Carrboro, is raising money for outdoor patio space.

Cody Maltais, one of the bar’s co-owners, said they are looking forward to providing the community with a new late-night hot spot.

Maltais co-owns Steel String Brewery with fellow Carrboro residents Will Isley and Andrew Scharfenberg.

When it first opened in May, the brewery used its front parking lot as a temporary patio to see whether it would be a good investment. Maltais said the community’s response to the brewery’s initial test was positive.

“There has been a large influx of people coming back into town,” Maltais said. “It has been great.”
Maltais created an Indie Go-Go campaign online in July to begin raising the money for the patio, which will include 25 to 30 seats.

On the campaign’s website, the brewery is offering custom Steel String T-shirts for $25 donations, a name engraving on the new patio for donations of $99 and membership in its Extended Pours Club for donations $100 and up.

Funding for the project

The campaign has raised about $4,000 so far, and they need around $20,000 to build the patio, according to the campaign website. There are six days left in the campaign.

The brewery’s decision to raise money for the patio angered some of its Facebook followers, according to a blog post by Maltais on the Steel String website.

Some of the brewery’s followers said they felt the money would be better used if it was donated to local charities, Maltais said in the blog.

Maltais said he and the other owners of Steel String will donate to TABLE, a nonprofit in Carrboro that provides emergency food aid to hungry local children, this month.

Trish McGuire, the planning director for Carrboro, said for the brewery to start construction on the patio, it must receive a town permit.

“The entirety of the activity of their business needs to be reviewed to follow land use regulations,” McGuire said.

If the permit is approved, which Maltais said shouldn’t be a difficult process, the brewery would then be able to extend its operation outside.

Though the brewery has not applied for the permit, Maltais said he plans to do so in the next 30 days.

Neighborhood support

Johnny’s Gone Fishing, another popular Carrboro eatery, was seeking a similar permit for outdoor seating and alcohol permits.

Neighboring residents and businesses protested the permit, said Susan Siplon, the store’s general manager.

“We aren’t in a place where it is appropriate for a bar type of setting,” Siplon said. “Many of our neighbors have rejected the idea.”

Siplon said Johnny’s isn’t actively seeking the permits anymore.

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Maltais said the surrounding businesses are supportive in their decision to build the outdoor patio.

“Us being open has aided other businesses and they have helped us,” he said. “We all help each other.”

Maltais said he hopes the brewery is a good addition to Carrboro.

“We tried to make the brewery for the community, so this patio will be an extension to that,” he said.

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