Dallas brewery taprooms to reopen after being shut down by fire marshal

Update Jan. 12 at 2:38 p.m.: Peticolas Brewing Co. plans to reopen its taproom this week after it was shut down by the Dallas fire marshal. According to a post on Facebook, the taproom will welcome drinkers back to the bar on Thursday, Jan. 11 and resume normal business hours from there.

"We will continue to work with the city and fire department to ensure that all regulatory compliance is satisfied," the post reads.

Each of the breweries forced to cease taproom operations by the fire marshal in a recent sweep has been working with the city to individually to resolve the issues that led to closure.

Joel Malone, co-owner of the Cidercade, confirmed the bar and arcade will reopen Friday, Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. The business will also be adding a sprinkler system and fire alarm in the coming months to ensure the safety of its patrons, he added.

Noble Rey Brewing Co. is also slated to reopen on Friday, Jan. 12, confirmed founder Chris Rigoulot.

Original story:

Three popular spots for drinking in Dallas have closed their doors to the public at the behest of the city of Dallas.

The Bishop Cidercade, Peticolas Brewing Co. and Noble Rey Brewing Co. were forced to discontinue taproom operations after the fire marshal stopped by, owners from the businesses say. The Cidercade and Peticolas were shut down the day before New Year's Eve; Noble Rey's citation came on Jan. 4.

"Due to the rising popularity of the Cidercade and the increase in people coming through our doors, the City of Dallas is requiring some additional precautions to be put in place," reads a Dec. 31 post on the Cidercade's Facebook page. "We were instructed to close immediately and remain closed until we upgrade our fire safety infrastructure."

This news hit the Cidercade particularly hard, as they were gearing up for a New Year's Eve party for which tickets had just been sold out. Those tickets were refunded.

Owners and the city both confirmed the breweries are still permitted to produce beer and cider; however, they aren't allowed to welcome patrons into their spaces to drink.

Joel Malone, co-founder of Bishop Cider Co., says he doesn't have a good idea of when the Cidercade will re-open. He says that when the hybrid cider production facility and arcade received its Certificate of Occupancy, the city said that they didn't need fire sprinklers. Now, apparently, minds have been changed.

"The problem is that a lot of times when dealing with the city of Dallas, people in different departments tell you contradictory things, so it's almost as if the left hand doesn't always know what the right hand is doing," he says. "So it's just a matter of trying to figure exactly what we need to do. One person says you don't need to do something and then later someone else shows up and says, 'No, you do have to do that.' So we just need to get everything straightened out."

When reached for comment, Christopher Martinez, Dallas' deputy chief and fire marshal, wasn't able to explain specifically what each taproom needs to do in order reopen, but says there could have been misinformation given to breweries during their initial building inspections.

"We're unfortunately not part of [the inspection] process," Martinez says.

Building inspectors normally work with business owners to decide which type of Certificate of Occupancy they will need based on certain criteria, such as what they plan to do with the space and how many people they plan to host, Martinez says.

"Generally as long as those basic questions are asked and those basic guidelines are followed, then the triggers get hit to shift things over the fire department or whatever relevant department that might be," Martinez says. "More than often the process does work... unfortunately there are going to be things that, for whatever reason, fall through the cracks."

Dallas Fire-Rescue is not specifically targeting breweries, he says. Around the holidays, however, the department does keep an eye on businesses that might have more activity.

Dallas Fire-Rescue personnel stopped by Noble Rey Brewing Co. during its Brew Year's Eve party on Dec. 31, but did not shut down the party. They returned on Jan. 4 saying the brewery needs to discontinue taproom operations. According to founder Chris Rigoulot, Noble Rey needs to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy to use the brewery as "an assembly space" before it can reopen the taproom. What's required of that?

"I honestly don't know," Rigoulot says. If it means installing a fire sprinkler system, the Noble Rey taproom could be closed indefinitely.

"I don't have that kind of money," Rigoulot says.

Peticolas Brewing Co. initially posted about the taproom's closing on Dec. 31. "Due to unforeseen circumstances, the taproom is closed until further notice. We had a visit from the Fire Marshal last night and need to upgrade our building before reopening."

Owner Michael Peticolas stressed that they want to guarantee the safety of their employees and customers.

"It's a disappointing way to end the year, for sure," says Peticolas.

"The timing of it seemed odd," he says, given that the fire marshal arrived at 9:30 p.m. on a Saturday night, but "it's just another hurdle in a long, long journey. These obstacles come up. [What matters is] how you overcome the obstacles."

Goes Well With...

#

Bishop Cider Co. and Cidercade (Design District)

#

Peticolas Brewing Co.

#Craft Beer

Texas brewers headed to state supreme court in fight over distribution rights

#Craft Beer

All you need to know about crowlers, one of the most controversial trends in Texas beer

#Craft Beer

Beer 'for here' or 'to-go'? A primer on Texas laws for what breweries can (and cannot) do

>