The Freehouse eyes December opening date

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October 21, 2013 // UPDATED 4:35 pm - October 21, 2013
By: Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
Government shutdown will restrict initial in-house beer offerings, but North Loop brewpub moves forward with plan to open Dec. 9

The Freehouse, formerly called Loose-Wiles Freehouse, is on track to open in North Loop on December 9.

Stephanie Shimp, co-owner of Blue Plate Restaurant Company, said that the 16-day federal government shutdown has caused a delay in obtaining a commercial brewing license from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Beer production at the Freehouse cannot begin until that license is obtained.

"Originally we were planning to open with six of our beers on tap and then grow to ten, but with the delay because of the federal shutdown we'll be lucky to open with two," said Shimp. She added that the TTB has not given her any indication as to when The Freehouse's license will be approved. "We know we're in the queue and that they're getting back to speed as quickly as they can," said Shimp.

The brewpub is still under construction at 701 N Washington Ave., the former site of the Loose-Wiles (and later Sunshine) Biscuit Company. When it is completed it will hold 220 people, with a patio slated to open in the spring.

The Freehouse will be open 7 a.m. until 2 a.m. every day, "from breakfast to beer," said Shimp. It offers a unique, eclectic menu that is hard to pin down: smoked salmon scotch eggs, Kentucky-fried rabbit, a quinoa burger, bison tartare, and bubble and squeak, a traditional British dish made from fried vegetables and mashed potatoes, are a few favorites Shimp disclosed.

Next week The Freehouse will begin hiring front-of-house and back-of-house positions.