Crime and Punishment Getting Close on Girard Avenue

If Crime and Punishment—the brew pub opening next month at 2711 Girard Ave. after nearly two years of planning, renovation, brewing, crowdfunding, and a stalled opening because of the need for a zoning variance—brews beer as well as its namesake illustrates human relations, Brewerytown is in for quite a treat.

The storefront

On June 18th, Crime + Punishment Brewing Company announced on Twitter they'd finally gotten ZBA approval and that they're slated to open this July. With a company named after the novel by Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky, owners Michael Paul and Mike Wambolt have created a stock of beers inspired by the writer. House Arrest, a Farmhouse Ale, and Indecent Exposure, a Single Hop Pale, are a couple of examples.

Interior view from a couple months back, from their Facebook page

The path to opening their brew pub has been a long process. Back in May, Foobooz reported that L&I issued a refusal for their use because their property is zoned for commercial, not limited industrial use. According to the article, owners pointed to other brew pubs in the city operating under commercial zoning, but the City was having none of it. Remember, we first wrote about Crime and Punishment back in the fall of 2013.

Zooming out a wee bit

Albeit slow, there's been steady development along the West Girard commercial corridor in Brewerytown these past few years. At 2816 Girard Ave., you've got RyBrew, a sister store to Fairmount's RyBread. Then you've got the former St. Augustine's Church at 27th & Girard, recently renovated into apartments. And to top it off, there's plans for a major mixed-use development from MM Partners across the street from the church, a potential game changer for the neighborhood. 

The flow has not all been in the positive direction, as some businesses have come and gone and some storefronts have seen real turnover. The good news is that new retail spaces keep popping up, giving small business owners more locations to chase their dreams. You can even see in the photo, two new retail spaces are under construction on the same block as the upcoming brew pub. And there are a few others getting close as well, pointing to a more vibrant commercial corridor in the years to come.