From the raw Schmidt Brewing space with stucco pasted over the windows and water dripping out of pipes and walls alike to an energetic, bustling marketplace filled with natural light, Keg and Case, Saint Paul’s new addition, has undergone a long history leading up to their grand opening on Sept. 14.
The building was originally a brewery where beer was stored until train distribution. It had been under numerous different owners until 2002 when the space was vacated. Twelve years later in 2014, Craig Cohen, the man with the dream, purchased the Keg and Case space. But it was not until Phil Gagne, former Schmidt head brewmaster, teamed up with Cohen to restore the building.
Now, the space will house a combination of chef-driven restaurants, brews and regional, hand-crafted goods.
This space brings together 23 different businesses together in a one-stop-shop for food, drinks and products of great variety.
The process of building the historical building out and finding the vendors took time and many small steps. That process was led by Cohen and Nick Rancone of Corner Table restaurant.
“They just started brainstorming about what types of offerings they’d like to have,” Mary McCallum, publicist for Keg and Case, said. “For example, they thought, “Ice cream?” and they discovered Sweet Science Ice Cream and just loved it.”
For many of the vendors, like Sweet Science Ice Cream, this space is their first, major step into a brick-and-mortar location, though Sweet Science did have a window at Como Pavilion this past summer.
“At our new brick and mortar Keg and Case space we will be offering close to 20 flavors everyday, sundaes, ice cream flights, handmade gluten free waffle cones, pints to-to and ice cream tacos,” Ashlee Olds of Sweet Science Ice Cream said. “We also have a merchandise area with the cutest sweet science swag that you ever did see.”
The hope is to provide a way to satisfy all sorts of needs in a single place, without resorting to chains or big-block stores.
“Most of these are really unique and you just can’t experience it other places,” McCallum said. “We all get conditioned to this kind of strip mall. It’s the same in every town, and this is a place where you’ll see really different stuff, but really accessible.”
The amount of different vendors from handmade treats for dogs to donuts to freshly pressed juices means there are things for everyone.
“You could bring a kid to get a cotton candy, you could get a craft beer and your friend could get another thing,” McCallum said. “It doesn’t have to be fancy.”
In the future, they plan to host pop-up events in their space too, but nothing is concrete yet. For information and to watch for future events, visit their website at kegandcase.com.