CADILLAC — Excitement is building in the community for the opening of Cadillac's newest restaurant and brewpub.
Crews are putting the finishing touches on the Raven Brewing and BBQ, located next to Horizon Books on Mitchell Street, and co-owner Chuck Freiberg said they hope to be open by the end of September or beginning of October.
In March 2017, Connie and Chuck Freiberg announced they would be building a Raven location in Cadillac.
The Freibergs own the Raven Brewing and BBQ in Big Rapids, Blue Fish Kitchen in Manistee and Blue Cow Cafe in Big Rapids.
Chuck said they have been waiting on their liquor license approval from the state of Michigan, which they recently obtained; now all they have left to do is undergo a final fire safety inspection before they are ready to open.
Cadillac City Manager Marcus Peccia said that Wexford County doesn't have the capacity for another business to obtain a liquor license, but in the case of a redevelopment project such as the Raven, a special permit can be obtained with support from the local unit of government.
The Cadillac City Council granted this support during a meeting in August.
Unexpected problems with the formerly obsolete structure were responsible for some of the delays in the restaurant's construction, Connie reported to council during a previous meeting.
Crews ran into "inadequate" utilities and outdated electrical infrastructure at the building, which were deemed "functionally obsolete" by City Assessor Joe Porterfield.
Now that these issues have been ironed out and the business is nearing completion, Chuck said they are in the process of hiring staff.
On Saturday, they will be holding open interviews from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the restaurant for a number of positions, including kitchen help, servers, hosts and dishwashers.
Chuck said hosts can be as young as 16 but other positions must be at least 18 years old.
The interior of the business has a "steampunk" motif, which prominently features imaginary of steam-powered machinery in a historical setting.
For the time being, the upstairs and outside balcony of the Raven will be used a couple days of the week, but Chuck said they still haven't determined what they will be doing with this floor.
There will be a number of Michigan beers on tap, including a few brewed at the Raven location in Big Rapids.
Chuck said the Raven menu will be very similar to the menu at their Big Rapids location; one major difference is the Cadillac location will offer french fries.
Once they have hired all staff positions, Chuck said they will begin training on Sept. 24, with the restaurant hopefully opening soon afterward.