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City of Hartford receives state grant to support redevelopment of historic building

The city currently doesn’t have a taphouse in its downtown, so Brewed Omen will help to...
The city currently doesn’t have a taphouse in its downtown, so Brewed Omen will help to continue the trend of redevelopment in the downtown.
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 4:17 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The City of Hartford is receiving a $159,000 state grant to help open its historic Millstream Building.

The Millstream Building will be redeveloped to house Brewed Omen, a new taphouse in the downtown area.

The Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will support renovations to the lower level of the Millstream Building.

Electrical, HVAC and bathroom work will convert the 2,600-square foot space into Brewed Omen.

The taphouse will feature an outdoor patio overlooking the Rubicon River. Beers that are unavailable in local stores will be served, all of which will be brewed within two hours of Hartford.

The city currently doesn’t have a taphouse in its downtown, so Brewed Omen will help to continue the trend of redevelopment in the downtown.

They expect to add eight employees over the next three years, with at least one being full time.

“A taphouse like Brewed Omen should serve as an attractive gathering spot for Hartford residents and visitors alike,” WEDC secretary and CEO Missy Hughes said. “We’re proud to support this project, as it should offer immense economic and cultural value to downtown Hartford.”

Bill and Ane Ohm purchased the Millstream Building in 2020 as a new space for Ane’s business. The business occupies the second level, but with Hartford’s need for a taphouse, the Ohm’s decided to put the lower level to use as well.

“It was something we were interested in putting together,” Bill Ohm said. “We were aware of the city’s vision, and then the opportunity presented itself when my wife’s business had to relocate.”

The Millstream Building has been a staple of downtown Hartford since 1886. It has been used for meat storage, indoor golf, funerals and other purposes over the years.

“The track record of success for recent building redevelopments, but especially Ohm’s, could inspire others to look at available property downtown in a new way and see possibilities, where maybe they mostly saw challenges before,” Hartford’s director of community development Justin Drew said. “Our vacancy rate is one of the lowest it’s been in over a decade, so downtown is definitely trending in the right direction and this project is an important part of that.”

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