She sits on southwest G street in Grants Pass, a spirited old girl with arches over her doorway and stories on her walls. This seasoned beauty nestled just outside the edge of the Grants Pass historic district has tales to tell – you can feel it the moment you pull up for a visit.
She hasn’t always been this lively. Her previous owner decided to throw in the towel one night after a long battle to keep his business in the black. He simply locked the door behind him, turned off the power with full refrigerators, and walked away. When the bank finally took ownership a year later, there were mushrooms sprouting from the floors and toxic mold creeping in the dark corners.
Steve, along with his three business partners – wife Jodi Paquin, Mark Simchuck and Christine Meis, were captivated by the possibilities. Enthusiasts of the beer scene in Portland and Bend, the four partners had the idea to open a brewery when they were attending a beer festival together in 2013. They had been searching for a historic space to launch a brewery in Southern Oregon, and ultimately purchased the building in 2014 and began the process of breathing new life into her.
None of the original four partners are restaurateurs, but they trusted their intuition and enthusiasm to guide them. Jodi initially took the lead on supervising the renovations before and after work. She would arrive early and stay late, working closely with contractors to bring the vision to life.
“I grew up in Grants Pass,” says Jodi. “I came to this place after dances. It was my dad’s favorite restaurant, and he had recently passed away, so when I walked in it was just a feeling of home. This building definitely has a place in my heart.”
Jodi’s dad, Phil Paquin, was a teacher and coach, and served on the school board and city council. He was a beloved leader in the community. As a gift, Steve honored Phil by surprising Jodi with a beautiful mural of her father, painted on one of the brick walls in the bar.
The building as it sits now is warm and festive, a perfect place to meet up for a cold beer or delicious meal. The beer is brewed on site by brewmaster Acacia Cooper.
According to Steve and Jodi, Acacia keeps an eye on the trends, and isn’t afraid to experiment. Climate City Brewing Company offers some distinct choices in beer, from light beers to hazy to sours, among many others.
Although business was thriving, the four partners weren’t completely satisfied with the way they felt they were “winging it” when it came to the restaurant side. Finally deciding it was time to bring their food offerings up to meet the standards of their brews, they brought on two new partners to join the team. Power couple Ashley and Dustin Myers, owners of The Vine in Grants Pass, were excited to bring their expertise to the table. The duo came with exceptional restaurant and event management experience and a reputation for delicious, locally sourced menu offerings.
“We’ve already seen a difference having them on board and having Dustin oversee daily operations,” says Steve. “It’s amazing.”
When Climate City Brewing Company opened its doors in 2014, the community rallied. They seemed excited to see the building reopen, and there are no signs of business slowing down any time soon. Drop by during business hours and you’ll find family and pet friendly spaces filled with neighbors catching up and enjoying the vibe.
Besides a cozy patio, Climate City also boasts an event room, featuring its own bar and plenty of seating for groups up to 50. They partner with rafting company Orange Torpedo during the summer, a cool activity to check out if you’re a Rogue River enthusiast. If you’d rather take some refreshment home with you, you can choose your favorite beer on tap and have it immediately filled in a 25 ounce “crowler.” Once sealed, it pops open, just like a regular beer can.
Whether you come for the food, the beer, or both, it’s obvious there is joy and a sense of community here. This old building stands as a testament to a love of family, friends, and a lifestyle of service, and there will certainly be many more stories to be told here.