LABELLE — Hendry County is set to see its very first craft brewery open this fall, and the location on the main drag here also will include a restaurant in a new building with roughly 7,200 square feet of space.
LaBelle Brewing founder Daniel Peregrin told the Fort Myers News-Press that he is fortunate to have a large chunk of land right in the middle of town on the river. “This is practically unheard of,” he said, noting the location on the busy five-lane State Road 80/Hickphochee Avenue.
The site is east of Two Peas Cafe near Shady Oaks Avenue, and for it Mr. Peregrin hired MHK Architecture and Planning of Naples to custom-design the building. It will be a three-story space that promises to stand out in the little town.
He said MHK has put together plans for a wide-open, comparatively upscale eatery with many big windows, and decor largely crafted from native Florida wood.
“I decided to build a neighborhood, and a neighborhood needs places where you can eat and drink, where you can sit, relax and have a beer. I thought this was a great opening piece to kick off the project,” Mr. Peregrin told the News-Press.
He said that the combination brewery and diner will include a bar and lounge areas, dining area with nooks, booths and freestanding tables; a covered patio with a view of a pond on the property and second-story entertainment space that will be available for private bookings.
It’s going to be three stories high, lots of Florida pine and cypress-wood beams, lots of tongue and groove, just really warm and inviting,” Mr. Peregrin stated.
“I wanted this to be comfortable, to be a place where you can sit back and enjoy yourself,” he added, saying it won’t be like many South Florida craft breweries that are located in industrial areas.
Mr. Peregrin teamed up with T.J. Cannamela of Buckingham Farms in eastern Lee County to establish a second restaurant that he would run in tandem with the brewery. He said he wanted to offer more variety for locals.
Mr. Cannamela told the News-Press that “we have an opportunity to spread the bounty of our farm to a new area.” He said his second eatery would get much of its produce from his 50 acres and will initally offer lunch and dinner.
Some of his produce probably even will wind up in some of LaBelle Brewing’s beers.
The new restaurant will be located at 670 W. Hickpochee Ave. Search for “LaBelle Brewing Company” on Facebook to learn more.