Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company is Newest Niagara County Tourist Destination Located in the Historic Wurlitzer Building
Brewery Expansion Project Will Create 35 Full-Time Equivalent Jobs in Western New York
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the official expansion and grand opening of the Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company in North Tonawanda's historic Wurlitzer Building, a former organ factory at the gateway to Niagara Falls that is being transformed into a popular tourist destination. The new 5,500 square feet brewery includes a restaurant, bar, brew floor, outdoor patio, and seating for 238 patrons. The project will result in the creation of 35 full-time equivalent jobs over two years.
"New York's booming craft brewery industry is an exciting part of our economy, and the addition of Woodcock Brothers' investment will further spur job growth in North Tonawanda," Governor Cuomo said. "The brewery will also add to the Wurlitzer Building's growing appeal as a culinary tourism destination, drawing visitors from Niagara Falls and beyond."
"The opening of Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company in North Tonawanda is a significant investment as part of our continued efforts to grow the craft beverage industry in New York State," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This new business and tourist destination is also reclaiming a celebrated part of Niagara County's past by opening in the historic Wurlitzer Building. This is yet another addition to the craft brewery landscape that is creating more jobs and economic opportunities in Western New York."
New York is home to a record-number 426 breweries, including 41 in Western New York, that are creating jobs and driving tourism across the state.
State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said, "Governor Cuomo's policies continue to push New York's brewing industry to new heights. The expansion of Woodcock Brothers Brewing is a testament to how the State is helping to create new economic opportunities in Western New York and across the state by supporting entrepreneurs to grow local industries and create world-class homegrown products."
Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company, Inc. is a successful Niagara County, family-owned craft brewery that currently employs 40 staff members in Wilson, New York and has already been fortunate to increase the size of its current space to accommodate a growing number of patrons. WBBC brews 20 beer varieties rotating 12 on tap and also have a canning line to supply area retailers. The kegged product is available in over 100 bars and restaurants throughout the Buffalo and Niagara region.
Mark Woodcock, Owner Woodcock Brothers Brewery said, "We are very excited to open our new facility in North Tonawanda. We are from this area and are positively certain we will receive the same warm reception from this community as we did in Wilson. Thank you to ESD, Niagara County, Lumber City Development, the City of North Tonawanda, the Wurlitzer Company and all our amazing contractors that helped pull this off!"
In order to encourage WBBC to complete the transformational $1.3 million project, a $516,000 New York State Community Development Block Grant was awarded to the City of North Tonawanda to go toward Woodcock's leasing and renovation of a formerly vacant space at 908 Niagara Falls Blvd. It will help pay for brewing equipment, furniture, fixtures and inventory, as well as design, planning, inventory and employee training. Empire State Development is offering additional support of up to $110,000 in performance-based Excelsior Tax Credits, which are directly tied to job creation commitments. The brewery is also receiving incentives from Niagara County.
The Wurlitzer Building is now a multi-tenant building that has been transformed into a tourist destination that also houses Platter's Chocolates, an 80-year-old candy company offering dine-in space and a chance for visitors to watch candy being made. The iconic building also has newly designed events space, a mix of small businesses and office space.
The renovation of the Wurlitzer Building is an example of the transformative power of smart growth in a community that is on the rise. There are several other smart growth projects being pursued in the City of North Tonawanda thanks to $ 2.5 million in state funding which the city is using to make improvements at Gateway Harbor, streetscape and pedestrian enhancements in the central business district, park and pedestrian improvements and signage upgrades.
HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Across the state, Governor Cuomo is investing in local business growth and boosting tourism with his unparalleled support of the craft beverage industry. This historic building's new purpose as the Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company will attract visitors and craft beer enthusiasts from near and far to North Tonawanda. When we expand businesses and create new job opportunities for residents, we strengthen the local economy and make Western NY a more vibrant place to live and visit."
Empire State Development CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The historic Wurlitzer Building's new life as a Niagara County food tourism hub, including the newly expanded Woodcock Brothers Brewery and Platters Chocolates, shows how strategic state investment is growing New York industries and re-energizing city centers."
Senator Rob Ortt said, "I am thrilled that the Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company has decided to expand their business in North Tonawanda, and has taken the opportunity to use space in the Wurlitzer Building, one of the area's historic locations. Not only will it be great to bring a wonderful craft brewer like Woodcock Brothers Brewing to our community, but the nearly three dozen jobs that will be created through this expansion is a welcome addition. I look forward to the Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company building upon their wonderful accomplishments thus far and plan on dining with them for years to come."
Assemblymember Robin Schimminger said, "As a native of the Twin Cities and Chair of the Assembly Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry, I welcome any expansion of business into this region. The craft beverage industry has shown a great deal of success in other areas of Western New York and New York State, and I look forward to the expansion of a successful Niagara County business into North Tonawanda."
North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur Pappas said, "We are thrilled to have Woodcock Brothers Brewery joining our community. They have been successful in their other location and we are looking forward to seeing them thrive here in North Tonawanda. The brewery is moving into a historic complex here in North Tonawanda, which also is expanding with new businesses. The North Tonawanda community is already buzzing about the arrival of Woodcock Bros. at the Wurlitzer Building and we believe they will be the perfect complement to the recent redevelopment which brought Platter's Chocolates and two first class event spaces to the building. The Wurlitzer Building is experiencing a rebirth as a destination for all occasions with a nod to its rich history in North Tonawanda. I would also like to thank Governor Cuomo, New York State Homes and Community Renewal and Empire State Development for helping to make this all possible."
For more information about Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company click here.