Warehouse 201 doors close, brewery stays open

Luminous Brewhouse brewmaster and owner Seth Orr opened his business in the same building that housed the Warehouse 201 restaurant. Orr has expanded his tap room since the restaurant closed its doors.

SHERIDAN — Luminous Brewhouse, LLC, is now the sole occupant of the building located at the junction of Broadway Avenue and Grinnell Plaza. When the Warehouse 201 restaurant closed its doors this weekend amidst financial difficulties, the sudden vacancy in the building represented a bittersweet opportunity for Sheridan’s newest brewing operation.
Manager of the former Warehouse 201 restaurant John Harrison said it was a difficult decision, but he has decided to close the business and market the restaurant and bar for sale — sans the Warehouse 201 brand.
Events currently booked at The Loft will be honored to their full potential.
Harrison extended his thanks to the community for its support in enabling a historic building to be revived.
“Without all of you, we would not have been able to renovate one of Sheridan’ first historic warehouses into a multi-use commercial facility with a beautiful restaurant and bar, brewery and event center which we hope will stay a vital part of the Sheridan community for years to come,” he said in a written statement. “This is not the end, but only the beginning of great things to come.”
Luminous Brewhouse LLC opened in a section of the same historic warehouse building in November. Brewmaster and owner Seth Orr said he has long battled the myth that his brewery and the restaurant were the same business.
“We’ve been a separate entity from the get-go,” he said. “Whenever anyone was buying our beer, they were supporting us, not Warehouse 201.”
Orr, who was born and raised in Sheridan, brings with him 12 years of home brewing experience. His current operation at Luminous is a five-barrel system.
“We do small batches of hand-crafted beer,” he said. “We don’t ever want to become a big brewery. We want to stay small enough that our beer is the main focus.”
That said, Orr recognized warning signs that he would have to do more to stay afloat as the conjoined restaurant began to struggle.
Orr explained that his pint sales started out strong the first few months after opening, but then started to dwindle as Warehouse 201 began to go downhill.
“November, December and January were good months for us,” he said. “Once February hit, it tanked.”
In March, Orr modified his business plan slightly,
While Luminous brews were initially only available via the warehouse restaurant, Orr has modified his production to include expanding the Luminous tap room and wholesaling kegs to other Sheridan businesses. He has also lined up live musicians and game broadcasts in the coming months to help strengthen the Luminous Brewhouse identity as an independent entity.
“Since then, we have started to develop our own clientele,” he said. “We have a core group of people that support us.”
Orr added that regardless of what happens with the rest of the warehouse building — whether another restaurant or other business comes or goes — he’s sticking around for the immediate future.
“This gives us a ground zero to build from,” he said. “We have five years of our lease paid, so this is where we’ll be.”

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