By Anna Skinner
In the next few months, Grand Junction Brewing Co. will expand by opening a new brewing facility and tasting room at 1189 E. 181st St. However, there’s a hurdle the group must conquer before completing its plans.
State law requires food to be available for customers at a brewery or a tasting room. Jon Knight, founding partner of GJBC, requested the Westfield City Council make an exemption to its current food truck ordinance to allow for a food truck to be present on the facility’s premises at the Sept. 26 meeting.
“Our product is obviously craft beer that is made and produced right here in Westfield,” Knight said. “Without that opportunity or that ability (to sell food), we cannot sell our product. That does produce a unique obstacle for us. We are here to request an exemption to that ordinance for that facility and that facility only. We don’t have the space or resources at this location to put a full restaurant in and provide food ourselves. One way to meet that burden presented to us from the state is to allow food trucks at this location.”
Knight said that for the past few months, he and GJBC have been working to get a “Made in Indiana” sign on U.S. 31. A requirement for the attraction sign is that the facility not be a restaurant.
“This will obviously bring tourism and other people to the area,” Knight said. “A Made in Indiana production facility cannot have a restaurant as its base.”
Knight said he didn’t expect there to be more than one food truck on the property at a time and that it would not be present every day, only during peak hours. He said the facility plans to cycle through a few food trucks and not re-use the same one each day.
The food truck would only operate during the hours the production facility and tasting room are open. The food truck would be outside the facility and customers would purchase food and then bring it into the tasting room to eat at tables.
The council did not make a decision but did assign members Mark Keen and Jim Ake to work with Knight on the ordinance.