Maidens Brewpub a Maiden Voyage for Evansville Brewer

An Evansville man who has made his name in beer soon hopes to do it again near Franklin Street. But before he brews there’s a few barriers he must break down.

Before the first pint is poured. Before bar stools and ball games give life to the old bricks. Before an empty lot and an empty room is filled, there is a dream.

The old Magic Moments building may soon be filled with barrels of barley and hops if there is enough room to park.

Where there’s a dream there’s a man on his maiden voyage. “This is my first business,” says John Mills. A wispy gray beard nearly touches his belly. He points to the back of the empty building, resembling more of a warehouse right now. “The kitchen in the back, restrooms over here,” he says.

Mills was the head brewer at Carson’s in Evansville. He says most of their beers are his recipe. Now he’s on his own adventure to open Maidens Brewery and Restaurant.

He can’t pick a favorite beer, but you can bet all his will be named after women. That’s his shtick. “Beer being predominantly a male beverage,” he says, “if a woman can find a connection with a beer, she’s more likely to drink it.”

Before all of that he needs a parking variance. Evansville code requires 1 parking space for every 2 seats and his plan is for 180 seats. The new pub would need 90 spots, and he’s asking for just 28.

Mills says he has two near-by lots from other businesses who have agreed to let customers park, and that gets him close to 75 spots, but it’s up to the Board of Zoning Appeals to decide if that’s enough.

Some Franklin Street neighbors have been outspoken about parking problems on the crowded block, going back to the proposed Franklinstein’s restaurant and bar.

Mills is committed to make his brewery and restaurant work. “We want to be a good neighbor to everybody,” he says, “I was married right up the street and my wife bought her wedding dress from this store.”

Before the pints and parties, there’s a dream and a man doing what he can to brew his best.

Evansville BZA meets again September 21 to consider his variance request.


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