When we first saw the Feed and Seed, it was a dilapidated, ready-to-be-condemned, ragged, mess with open walls, virtually no roof, and floors with more holes than boards.

But, this building holds significant local history within its walls. It had been a working part of Pittsburg since 1910.

With financial help from the City of Pittburg, we brought the building back to life, now housing Anvil Brewery and a great new Texas-style dance hall.

Transcript from the Longview News Journal, August 23, 2017 by writer Ken Hedler: https://www.news-journal.com/news/2016/oct/09/pittsburg-aims-to-kick-start-businesses/

Byron Aldredge said the average price to open a brewery in the United States is $1.2 million, citing a national trade association as his source.

However, Aldredge said he hopes he and his wife, Kristin, can open the Pittsburg Feed and Seed Brew Pub for considerably less: for $40,000 to $45,000. They are remodeling a 4,200-square-foot, aluminum building that has been vacant since 1961.

He said he thinks $20,000 in economic development funds from the city will provide “seed money” to achieve their goal of opening Pittsburg’s first brew pub, leading to more economic development.

“Really, what we are trying to do is instill an industry in Pittsburg that will attract tourism,” Aldredge said.

“It will attract more businesses. It may attract more breweries.”

Aldredge successfully applied for the 2016 Pittsburg Innovative Entrepreneur Contest in the new business category. City officials honored him and Sisters Reclaimed owner Melanie Bass, winner of the business category, during a ceremony this past week.

City officials launched the contest a year ago but received no applicants, said Community Development Coordinator Amanda McCellon. They received 10 this year and chose Aldredge and Bass after they submitted business plans, fielded questions and gave five-minute presentations.

She said the city’s hopes for the business’ impact matched Aldredge’s.

“My committee members thought it was a very unique concept that would bring people from surrounding communities to Pittsburg,” McCellon said.

In addition to receiving $20,000 in economic development funds, the city is providing a year’s free membership in the chamber of commerce and free advertising on the city’s website and community events. Bass, meanwhile, will receive $10,000 as an incentive to expand her business.

McCellon said Aldredge bought a former Pilgrim’s Pride Feed Store on Compress Street as the site for the brew pub.

The Aldredges moved in late August from Jefferson, where they have owned the Steamboat Inn bed and breakfast inn for six years, with the goal of opening the brew pub.

“We had another business in Jefferson called the Cork Yard,” Aldredge said. “It was a wine bar.”

He said he and his wife closed the wine bar to focus on opening the brew pub.

He said part of the feed store’s building is more than 100 years old.

“It is one of the last remaining aluminum buildings in America,” he said. Plans call for the building to have a 3,000-square-foot dance hall that can be rented for weddings and other events.

Aldredge said the remodeling work started in late August, and he hopes to open within two to three months, depending on financing.

The pub will be a nanobrewery, which is smaller than a microbrewery.

“We are hoping to have at least five beers,” Aldredge said, adding, “We are working on a limited menu.” Food trucks will offer a variety of food on location.

They also plan entertainment, with bands playing jazz, blues, rock and swing.

Pittsburg Feed and Seed Brew Club will start with the Aldredges and Ryne Harrel, a brewer, Byron Aldredge said.

By contrast, Bass has been in business for at least two years, having moved back to her hometown after raising a family in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She formerly worked as an account manager for a freight company.

She said she plans to use the $10,000 from the city in part to do interior work on a larger building three doors from her shop on Main Street her business will move into and to expand her home décor line. Her husband, Shawn, is a general contractor and part owner of Sisters Reclaimed.

She said she started reclaiming furniture, mostly antiques, as a hobby and found a market because “people started buying it. We reclaim it. We redesign it and we love it.”

She said her husband restores furniture and makes specialty pieces for Sisters Reclaimed, such as farm tables and designer pet beds.

Bass also is a distributor for Annie Sloan, who created chalk paint that Bass said is made from “100 percent pure pigment decorative paint” that is applied to furniture and glass.

She teaches Annie Sloan classes at her shop and has been selected to train for two weeks with Sloan in Oxford, England, in January.

“I’m always full (in the classes),” Bass said, adding students have traveled from as far as Houston and Oklahoma.

Bass said she entered the entrepreneur contest at McCellon’s urging.

She compared the competition to the television show “Shark Tank” on ABC and said, “It just seemed a little intimidating to me.”