When Tom George back on New Year's Day, he knew the place had the potential to be a lucrative neighborhood bar.
A veteran businessman who owns Stix Billiards in Palm Harbor and an arcade game vending company, George had been in the Sunset Point Road bar enough times to know it had a nice local following.
But while previous owner Margo Maher had worked hard over 16 years to foster a friendly and inviting atmosphere in the bar, George realized in order to maximize the full potential of the place, changes would have to be made.
“I’ve known Margo for a long time, and she didn’t really want to change things,” George said. “For a beer and wine bar to last for 15 years, there had to be something here.”
“I have been coming here for a long time," he said. "I’ve had a vending account here for years… and I knew that in order to bring it to the next level, I had to do this.”
"This" includes a nearly full remodel of the place, from new air conditioning units on the roof to new flooring on the ground, and everything in between.
In addition, the large rectangular bar and the kitchen are being moved from the center of the building to the righthand wall, opening up floor space and significantly increasing the seating capacity.
Also, there will be new lighting, new TVs with satellite hookups, new double bathrooms and brand new modern barstools and chairs.
“We started off slow, by adding liquor and changing a few things, but we still offended some people who were die-hard Brew Time fans,” George said. “I told them to be patient and give us a chance. You hate to lose anybody, especially longtime patrons.”
George says the changes, which should be complete in three weeks, have already helped bring in new customers resulting in more revenue, which will allow the establishment to remain open and profitable for the foreseeable future.
“I’m dropping $45,000 into this remodel, so obviously I want to stay here," he said. "I understand people don’t like change, but it’s a business decision."
“It’s still going to be Brew Time. It’s just going to be new and improved,” he added.
Address: 1969 Sunset Point Road