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Bricktown Brewery takes over the former Old Chicago restaurant at 2040 E. Independence St.
SBJ photo by Mike Cullinan
Bricktown Brewery takes over the former Old Chicago restaurant at 2040 E. Independence St.

Bricktown Brewery’s weeklong countdown begins

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Renovation work is complete and the suds will soon be slinging in the Queen City as Bricktown Brewery, an Oklahoma-based brewpub chain, plans to open its first Missouri store Sept. 3.

The Springfield brewpub at 2040 E. Independence St. marks the 14th restaurant for the company, said Buck Warfield, Bricktown Brewery president and CEO. It replaces the Old Chicago restaurant that closed in late May.

Warfield said restaurant renovations commenced in early June, with project expenses landing on budget at $750,000. The project expenses include construction, soft costs and training, he added.

Terms of the lease were undisclosed for the property owned by Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and his Blue Star Development company, according to Greene County assessor records. Approximately 80 employees will be on staff at opening, Warfield said.

Some 24 beers will be on tap at the restaurant, with an additional 40-50 beers to be offered.

“We’ve positioned our business to brand craft beer as local. We believe craft is best when it’s next door or down the street,” he said.

Piney River Brewing Co. will be brewing the company’s most popular brands, Old King Kolsch and Bluesberry Ale, as private labels. Warfield added the Bucyrus-based brewing company may also brew an additional two to four beers for them soon.

Warfield said this is the first time his company is utilizing a private label for its products.

“But I’m intrigued by it, and we got really lucky with Piney River,” he said, declining to discuss financial details of the arrangement.

Warfield said the initial plan for the company was to brew its own beer in Oklahoma and product shipped to the Springfield restaurant. However, he said company officials learned Missouri law prohibits brewpubs that also operate as restaurants from shipping from out of state. That led to the agreement with Piney River, he said.

The menu features burgers, pizzas and wings, as well as macaroni and cheese, salads and soups. Those menu items will rotate every 12 weeks, Warfield said.

“If you come frequently, there will always be new items for you to try,” he said.

The company’s first brewpub opened in 1992 in downtown Oklahoma City. Bricktown Brewery has since added locations in Arkansas, Texas and Kansas.

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