The City of Fairfax has high hopes for Commonwealth Brewing Co.
The Virginia Beach-based company opened its second brewery and restaurant at 10426 Main Street with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 28, bringing new life to a space that has been vacant since at least 2015.
While customers were no doubt looking forward to trying the establishment’s specialty brews and wood-fired pizzas, the city’s economic development team saw the long-awaited launch as a sign that its ongoing efforts to revitalize Old Town are paying off.
“With Commonwealth opening up and its acclaim and reputation from how well they’ve done in Virginia Beach, it’s going to become really a regional destination for people to come and visit and really spend time in our downtown,” said Nicole Toulouse, senior assistant director for Fairfax City Economic Development (FCED).
Established in a former Virginia Beach fire station in 2015, Commonwealth Brewing began as an outgrowth of founder and owner Jeramy Biggie’s longtime hobby of home-brewing beer. He and his wife Natalie spent a decade “passively researching” before using their retirement savings to start their own business, he previously told FFXnow.
The risk has evidently paid off. Commonwealth rode a wave of growing local interest in craft brews to become a neighborhood favorite known for its artistic beer cans and communal, beer hall-style environment.
The FCED hopes the brewery can replicate that success in historic downtown Fairfax. A block away from Old Town Hall, the roughly 8,000-square-foot space had attracted interest from different potential tenants, but it wasn’t until Commonwealth that “we finally found the right fit,” Toulouse says.
“We really think that Commonwealth will be a gathering place for the entire region,” she told FFXnow. “It has a large, open-concept plan with indoor and outdoor seating, with communal tables available, and so, it’ll be a place that people can meet their neighbors and also host events. So, we’re really excited for it to kind of be a keystone retailer in the heart of Old Town.”
Toulouse says attracting and supporting small, boutique businesses like Commonwealth or the recently opened Lucy Loves vintage shop in Old Town has been a priority for the FCED, even as the city encourages more mixed-use activity with a small area plan adopted in 2020.
Seeking to “reimagine” the city’s downtown as a walkable cultural destination, the plan calls for a major shift toward multifamily residential uses around a commercial core focused on “local, regional food services along with cultural use and specialty retail.”
So far, the plan has opened the door for a performing arts center, along with condominiums and more retail and office space. Though some residents fear Old Town will lose its historic charm, Toulouse believes the city’s vision strikes an effective balance between preserving its past and paving the way for a more vibrant future.
“It will still maintain that quaint and cute feel throughout the evolution of Old Town’s development,” Toulouse said. “That being said, it is the main attraction to the city, to kind of visit all of these old historic buildings, and so, we’re excited to have activated storefronts like Commonwealth that are able to bring people into the city and stay here.”
Good Friday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
Reston Association is seeking candidates for its 2024 Board of Directors’ election. Four seats are open for the election, which will take place in March. Specifically, two at-large director seats…
Zombies, pirates and other virtual characters are about to be unleashed on Tysons, just in time for Christmas. Sandbox VR will launch its new virtual reality gaming experience at 1656…
Do the holidays have you stressed and busy? Worry not about what to wear as Live Fairfax has the Style Survival Guide for this season!
The Georgetown Visitation Masqueraders proudly present
Descendants The Musical
Art House 7 warmly welcomes you to our upcoming Fall 2 session of classes starting on October 30th. We’re thrilled to offer a diverse range of mediums and flexible class lengths, catering to a wide age range, starting from as young as 2, and, of course, providing a multitude of engaging options for adults!
Our classes cover an exciting spectrum of creative mediums, including fiber arts such as knitting, modern embroidery, crochet, and sewing. We also offer classes in ceramics on the wheel, drawing, watercolor, gouache, oil, acrylic, still-life painting, and captivating Japanese Suminagashi and printmaking. One of the highlights of this session is the highly anticipated 5-week “Painting the Portrait and Figure” workshop, led by the renowned local artist, Danni Dawson.
For our younger artists, we have specially designed classes like “Art Exploration through Impressionism” for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, an engaging “Art Together” parent-child class designed for 2–4-year-olds, and a “Teen Taught Art Club” tailored for kindergarteners through 4th graders.