Waterman’s Brewing Company is set to open early this summer at 1610 Pavilion Place, the former home of Fibber McGee's. (Photo by Jessica Maurer)
Those who are passionate about a coastal lifestyle will likely welcome Waterman’s Brewing Company, a brewery and restaurant scheduled to open early this summer at 1610 Pavilion Place, the former home of Fibber McGee’s.
Partners Bob High, Craig Gee and Don Webber are longtime friends with varied business backgrounds and a common love of brewing and the beach.
The three had thought about the possibility of opening a brewery in Wilmington for some time, and when the former Fibber space became available, the team knew it was the right fit.
“We wanted to be as close to Wrightsville Beach as possible in order to create a brewery that fit the waterman lifestyle,” High said. “We chose the name Waterman’s because the term 'waterman' refers to both those that work and recreate in and around the water.”
The brewery will be designed as a family-friendly destination with a coastal vibe. High describes it as a “surf lodge.”
The 7,000-square-foot building has undergone a complete renovation, including all new electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems, a new kitchen and the installation of a 15-barrel brewing system.
“We loved Fibber’s and wanted to do the place right, so we kept a similar look on the outside, with the addition of a large deck in the front,” High said. “And inside, one of the things we’re most excited about is the installation of a big fireplace with seating nooks and a large hearth to sit on and warm up when you come in off the beach in the colder months.”
While food will be served, including appetizers, sandwiches and a kid’s menu, High emphasized that Waterman’s will be a brewery first and foremost. High said head brewer Zac Brown expects to brew about 50 different beers in the first year, with a rotating selection of 13 on tap. The brewery will offer ciders, cask ales and sour beers as well as cold brew nitro coffee on tap, and an extensive wine list.
The pub area will seat about 100, with another 100 seats on a patio that is designed to offer comfortable seating year-round. The building will also house a private party room for up to 100 guests, which includes its own bar and restrooms.
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