55 South Essex Ave. in Orange — Courtesy: L+M Development Partners
By Joshua Burd
A redevelopment near the Orange train station is set to welcome a craft brewery as its latest retail tenant, marking a milestone for a municipality with deep roots in the beer industry.
L+M Development Partners, the builder behind the project, announced Friday that Four City Brewing will open later this month at 50 and 55 South Essex Ave. The business will operate a 4,600-square-foot facility at the mixed-use project, which has revived what had been an unoccupied warehouse and coal storage facility near the township’s downtown.
“Given Orange’s rich brewing history, we knew from the outset that Four City would be a perfect addition to 55 South Essex,” said Jake Pine, a director with L+M. “We’re excited to welcome them in August and hope residents from the building, across Orange, and elsewhere in the state make it one of the top brewery destinations in New Jersey for years to come.”
In a news release, the developer and the operator noted that Orange’s brewing history dates back to the early 1900s. Its last brewer, Rheingold Beer, shut its doors in 1980.
Four City will now help to fill that void while serving as an amenity for the township and for the 72 mixed-income apartments at the L+M project. It also joins a retail mix that spans a total of nearly 10,000 square feet.
“The diversity of the town, the long history of brewing and our location right next to the NJ Transit Orange station were key factors in our decision to be here,” said Roger Apollon Jr., co-founder of Four City Brewing. “We look forward to being a meaningful part of this vibrant community.”
Apollon, a teacher, operates Four City Brewing alongside Jeff Gattens, a mobile technology engineer, and Anthony Minervino, a firefighter, the news release said. The West Orange neighbors developed the idea over the last decade, thanks in part to their mutual interest in home brewing and trips around the world to sample craft beers.
The venue will offer a variety of styles including IPAs, stouts, sours and saisons.
“I welcome Four City Brewing to our Orange business family,” Orange Mayor Dwayne D. Warren said. “Their commitment to the City of Orange Township is an example of the public/private partnership we all value, that continues to help us move Orange forward.”
L+M touted the role of local and state funding sources in developing 50 and 55 South Essex Ave., including the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, along with Bank of America. Inglese Architecture + Engineering designed the project.