After a dispute with the owner, Greg Tavangar and George Thornton walked out of their jobs two weeks ago at Home Brews & Gardens, according to Thornton. The two served as managers and also instructors at the home brew supply shop located on Thorn Street in North Park. Their popular home brew classes took place behind the store, in a cool open-air, semi-covered garage space covered with talented graffiti. The future of the home brew shop is unknown. Thornton mentioned that there were plans to transform the shop into a brewpub. Calls to Dennis O’Conner, the shop’s owner, had not been returned as of Monday afternoon.
Both Thornton and Tavangar will continue working in the home brew shop scene.
Thornton confirmed that he’s opening The Homebrewer in North Park. Located at 2911 El Cajon Blvd., near Pacific Liquor and a block away from Tiger!Tiger!, Thornton has signed the lease and plans to open early March. The Homebrewer will be the 2nd home brew supply shop that has opened in 2012. The first: Smokin Beaver in Escondido.
Tavangar has headed east, where he’s been working at All About Brewing in El Cajon. The shop’s owner Jim Nunnally couldn’t be more thrilled. “He needed a job, and I needed help,” said Nunnally, who had high praise of Tavangar. “He’s going to help my store get to the next level.”
Updated 2/6/12 2:36PM
Dennis O’ Conner returned my phone call and we spoke about the past, present, and future of Home Brews and Gardens.
The past: regarding the departure of employees: O’Conner said “I wish them the best of luck.” Apparently the store hadn’t turned a profit and changes needed to be made, but there’s no hard feelings.
The present: the area that was formerly the home brew and gardening shop is currently gutted. Home brew classes are unaffected, and the next classes are Saturday at noon (taught by Tom Cook). O’Conner highly recommends RSVPing soon as the 40 person classes have been popular.
The future: the plan is to renovate the space and open a nano brewery with a small tasting room. The tasting room will be inspired by Stone’s model of limited tastings (Stone South Park allows for a flight, but not much more). There will be a nano brewery named Thorn Street Brewery. Optimistic plans include a Summer opening date. Once opened, the focus of the business will have shifted from home brew supplies and towards brewing, hosting beer education events, and holding community events. O’Conner states he has a top notch brewer lined up, but he’s not saying who just yet.