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Wilson brewery and restaurant plans second location in North Tonawanda

Woodcock Brothers Brewing Co. has been so successful in its Wilson location that it is planning to open a second brewery and restaurant in North Tonawanda.

The $1.3 million project would create 51 jobs, according to Michael W. Zimmerman, executive director of the city's development agency, the Lumber City Development Corp.

The site for the craft brewer would be the former Wurlitzer plant at 908 Niagara Falls Blvd., according to a memo from Zimmerman to the North Tonawanda Common Council.

The memo, released Friday, asks the Council to vote Tuesday to authorize an application for $516,000 in state Community Development Block Grant funds that would be lent or granted to Woodcock Brothers to help finance the project.

Zimmerman wrote that Woodcock Brothers "has no more capacity to produce product at its current location."

In an interview, Zimmerman said Woodcock Brothers is interested in about 6,000 square feet of space on the first floor of a structure separate from the main building at Wurlitzer.

"Whether that funding's available or not will be a big difference-maker. Other than that, they are very interested in making it happen. They're very serious," Zimmerman said.

The brewery and brew pub at the Wurlitzer site would create 19 full-time and 32 part-time jobs, according to Zimmerman's memo.

Zimmerman said the company envisions opening an outdoor beer garden between the two buildings.

An employee at Woodcock Brothers said Friday the company would not be making any comment at this time.

Zimmerman said he expects an answer from the state about the grant application in late July.

If it is approved, the new Woodcock Brothers location could open by February or March, Zimmerman said.

Woodcock Brothers Brewing is owned by Mark Woodcock, his wife, Andrea, and Timothy Woodcock and his wife, Debbie.

It opened in 2011 in a century-old former cold storage plant at 638 Lake St., Wilson, assisted by a 10-year tax break from the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency. The company produces 15 types of beers and ales, according to its website. Its output is sold at the brewery and at several stores in the region, including Tops and Wegmans.

The Wurlitzer Building, where jukeboxes and organs once were manufactured, has become a multitenant facility.

Last year, Platters Chocolates moved its sponge candy plant and became the primary tenant of the main building. The complex is owned by Thomas Austen of North Tonawanda.

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