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EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) – The next time you take a walk through downtown Emporia, you may notice some big changes like restaurants, clothing shops and more recently a brewery.
Owner and Executive Chef, Justin Bays and Brew Master Jeremy Johns are the masterminds behind the opening of Emporia’s first brewery since before prohibition called Radius Brewing Company.
“We want to build a destination,” says Bays, “A destination establishment for not just Emporia but for downtown Emporia specifically.”
It’s a new hot spot that has surpassed expectations.
“We’ve been very busy, to capacity pretty much almost all day and all night,” says Bays.
Bays says in the past five days they have been open, well over 1,000 people have walked through the doors.
Radius Brewing Company is just one of 10 brand new or expanded businesses that have opened up here in Emporia and it’s all part of one big master plan.
“We have something that we call our Community Initiated Development Plan,” says Casey Woods, executive director of Empooria Main Street. “Part of that CID plan was to talk to the community about all of the different things that they want and need and a brewery was just at the top of the list.”
Woods says the list of things people can expect to see goes on and on.
“Over the past five years in the downtown area, we’ve actually seen over 27 million dollars worth of re-investment. That’s a tremendous amount of investment that has resulted in new businesses, new buildings and new housing opportunities.”
For both Johns and Bays, big plans have been set in motion for Emporia’s new local brewery.
“I think as radius, we are going to be a catalyst,” says Bays. Two guys with no money, we built an amazing business.”