After months and months of delays, a much-anticipated brewery, cocktail bar and concert venue in a historic Ybor City building finally has an opening date: Oct. 20.
The Attic, located at 1901 15th St. N, was originally slated to open by the end of 2015, before getting pushed back to this spring due to inspection and construction delays, many related to the building's historic nature. The 120-year-old building was once known as King-Greco Hardware, the family business of former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco, who grew up there.
Co-owner Kevin Lilly said Friday the only major remaining hurdles are an elevator and staircase linking the bar and sidewalk to an upstairs concert venue. Those are scheduled for inspection this month.
"We can't open our doors without the elevator working," Lilly said. "Once that's in, operational and working, we're going to blitz to the finish — and I mean blitz, seven days a week."
Lilly said the venue is planning a soft opening and training period in early October, with more operations in full swing by Oct. 20.
"I got a wedding (booked) on the 23rd," Lilly said, "so we gotta be ready for that." When open, the Attic will feature a mixology bar in the vein of St. Petersburg's Mandarin Hide, which is co-owned by Attic partner Tony Casoria. It'll feature an upstairs "living room"-style concert lounge with an 80-bottle wine list.
And once the Attic opens, construction will begin on an adjacent brewery that will serve as the headquarters for Rock Brothers Brewing, Lilly and Casoria's enterprise that creates custom craft beers for bands like 311 Hootie and the Blowfish and Umphrey's McGee. Lilly said the Attic will have about 20 beers on tap, some unique to that location. He estimates construction on the brewery will take about 90 days.
"I think people have a general idea of what we're going to do there, but I just can't stress enough that we're going to bring a different approach to the brewing and tasting room experience," he said. "We want it to be a room for experiencing spirits and art and music, and a combination of all of those things. it's going to create a really interesting and unique spot for Tampa Bay."
The Attic has already started booking concerts, including a local singer-songwriter showcase on Nov. 4, Tonic singer Emerson Hart on Nov. 12, Shawn Mullins on Nov. 19 and Michael Tolcher on Dec. 15. More shows will be announced soon.
When people finally do get inside, Lilly said, they'll be struck by the building's transformation.
"The place just looks 900 percent different," he said.
-- Jay Cridlin