Monday, June 8, 2015

Then and Now: Barely & Hops

Here are a couple shots of the same building taken approximately 50 years apart. As always, click any of the images you see here to enlarge them for a better view.

The top picture was taken in the mid-1960s when The Butternut Baking Company made its home at 663 N. Main St. Oshkosh. The photo below it was taken yesterday morning in the rain. It shows Barley & Hops Pub, the current business at this address.

The building was constructed in the summer of 1900. The first resident was William Kienast. He and his family operated a saloon there named The Turf Exchange.

By 1915, Kienast was long gone and The Butternut Baking Company was in. The bakery remained in this location until 1965. After Butternut bit the dust, the building housed a bike shop and, for a short time, a church. Then in 1983, the Patti K. Lounge opened here. The place has been a tavern ever since.

In the winter of 2001, Nate Stiefvater established Barley & Hops at this location. Stiefvater has done much to bring the building back to life. If you’ve been down N. Main recently, you might have noticed the new beer garden that’s taken over the parking lot beside the building.

Back in the Butternut days, that lot was occupied by a stable for the bakery’s delivery team. Here’s a picture showing what that looked like circa 1916.

A couple years, ago Stiefvater began developing a plan for his beer garden. Here’s the original concept for the space. This was drawn up last summer.

Here’s a better look at the near finished result.

An interesting thing happened when they began construction of the beer garden. While digging up the parking lot they came across these two buried under the asphalt.

The clear, soda bottle once belonged to James Laing, a bottler of beer and soda in Oshkosh during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The brown, beer bottle is a blob top from the Oshkosh Brewing Company. This type of bottle used a porcelain stopper instead of cap. OBC used these bottles beginning in 1894 and into the first decade of the 1900s.

It’s hard to believe these bottles survived. Are they remnants from the days when William Kienast was here and The Turf Exchange was in full blush? That could very well be!

For more on the history of this building check THIS out.

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