Former Marion City Hall building to become home of new microbrewery

City Hall in Marion is about to be the toast of the town. A new business is moving in & leaders hope this will bring more people to the town square
Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 5:06 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2023 at 5:31 PM CDT
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MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - A new business is moving into the old city hall in Marion, Illinois, and city leaders hope this will bring more people to the town square.

After listening to three different bids, the Marion City Council approved the bid for a new microbrewery that will offer food and live music.

“I think it’ll draw a lot of people to the city from different communities around as well,” said Marion resident Curt Cox.

Cox has lived in Marion for more than 20 years. He said all of the changes in the downtown area are something that he can get behind.

“I’m excited about all of it,” Cox said. “I think it’ll just enhance the City of Marion and I think people are going to support it.”

That change includes a new microbrewery. It will be operated by the owner of Route 51 Brewing Company Chris Harris and his business partner Dave Fenley, who is also a singer/songwriter and former semifinalist on The Voice.

“We are excited to bring the first brewery to Marion,” Harris said. “We love what the city stands for in supporting local businesses. We think this is a great opportunity for our vision to fit in perfectly with what the city already has to offer.”

City of Marion Chief of Staff Cody Moake said this is going to be a huge addition to the downtown area.

“We thought about some different uses, and we were approached with a lot of great ideas, but this one felt like the one that was probably going to attract the most people here, that may not be a part of the downtown scene already,” Moake said. “So, it’s pretty unique to downtown and so we’re really excited about seeing the new people that it’s going to bring to the area.”

Moake said the old city hall will be an attraction in other ways.

“This is a family friendly type of environment,” Moake said. “There’s going to be weddings happening in the basement of this building, something that we didn’t think was probably possible the last couple of years.”

Leaders at city hall said they will move to their new location on the Northwest Corner of the square at the end of June into early July.

The owners of the microbrewery said they will have a name soon and potentially plan to be open in the fall of 2024.