LEXINGTON, N.C. -- With live music playing, alcohol on tap and hundreds of people in the street or enjoying a pint inside the newly-opened Bull City Ciderworks you could have mistaken Lexington for any other North Carolina city of note.
And that’s exactly how city and county leaders like it.
More than 200 people were on hand for the grand opening of the North Carolina-based brewery that relocated its home base from Durham to Lexington. According to one developer, the company spent more than $1 million turning an old furniture warehouse into a state of the art brewery for its hard ciders.
John Clowney and Ryan Bogard, both graduates of North Davidson High School, along with co-owners Ben Ingold and AJ Nelson brought the business to Lexington but its city and county leaders who have laid out the road map to have this be the first of many additions to the city.
“If you could just use your mind and visualize restaurants, some specialty shops, maybe some art places, craft places and this place full, just like it is right now, coming in to see what Lexington has to offer,” said Fred McClure, a Davidson County Commissioner.
The hard cider business is taking up a little more than 36,000 square feet of space in the old furniture complex leaving plenty of room for other businesses to join them.
“There's 18 acres in the uptown business district,” said Burr Sullivan, president and CEO of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce. “All the utilities are right under these streets so all the expensive stuff that would cost tons of money when you're buying farmland to develop commercial property -- all of that is already here.”