LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - 7twenty6 Brewing Company plans to open a brewery in Leland by the end of next year, town officials announced on Monday.
In what would appear to be a first for both the company and Leland, the brewery would sit on a five-acre site on Old Fayetteville Road in what is known as the town’s Gateway District, an area surrounding a one-and-a-quarter mile stretch of Village Road that was established as an urban residential and business district.
Harrington Village and Harrington Square are the first major projects to be developed in the Gateway District.
Officials with 7twenty6 Brewing said the 5,000-square-foot brewery will have an “industrial look” – in part to showcase the brewhouse’s fermentation and lagering tanks and other equipment – combined with some farmhouse-style elements, such as a reclaimed wood bar. The main facility would also have indoor multi-sport simulators and a beer garden with a partially covered outdoor seating area and fire pits.
Additional plans include an adjacent taco stand-style eatery with outdoor shaded seating and an outdoor event space with a raised stage to accommodate larger-scale musical performances, a feature Said believes will help draw big weekend crowds.
According to online state records, 7twenty6 was formed on July 3 and has mailing addresses in both Leland and New Bern.
Chris LaCoe, one of the partners with 7twenty6, said the continued growth of the craft beer industry locally and statewide and the absence of a brewery in Leland is what inspired 7twenty6. LaCoe, a former franchisee with Hwy 55, said he believes Leland is ready for a brewery and the additional businesses it could help spur.
“Whenever I frequent any of the Wilmington breweries, there are always people there who have come in from Leland. With the town’s continued growth, I think it is a perfect place to bring in a nice hang-out spot that is convenient to residents and is family-friendly, as well,” said LaCoe.
Gary Vidmar, economic and community development director for the town of Leland, said the addition of a brewery — a first for Leland and northern Brunswick County — would only further economic development, increase property values, and create jobs.
“The craft brewery industry in Wilmington and the entire region has been growing rapidly but, until now, Leland has not been part of the mix. As a result, Leland and Brunswick County residents must travel to Wilmington and surrounding parts to enjoy their favorite brews,” said Vidmar. “We are excited to welcome 7twenty6 Brewing Co. as the town’s first and long-awaited brewery and another exciting addition to the Gateway District.”
Leland officials said the town will construct multi-use paths along Village and Old Fayetteville roads and along Town Hall Drive within the next year to help improve pedestrian and bicycle connections between the residential areas and businesses in the Gateway District.
Joan Willis is a Leland resident and she hopes that the development will result in more shopping options in the town.
“It’s growing and it needs more places. You shouldn’t have to go all the way to Wilmington to go shopping. They need more of what’s in Wilmington here and especially with all the growth that they have, all the new apartments, and the new homes that are coming in," she said.
William King is another Leland resident who thinks this announcement is a great idea for his town.
“I think it’s a great idea, Leland is a booming metropolis. It is doubling in size and probably going to triple in the next ten years, so, I think it’s a great idea,” he said.