Ormond Beach was known for speed before Daytona Beach gained that notoriety.
To celebrate that history, Ormond Garage will open soon as a restaurant, craft brewery and home of the 1906 Stanley Steamer rocket race car and other memorabilia.
Wes Lemoyne is the general manager and Kevin Wakefield is the owner.
“He had a vision for a brewery that he wanted to do years ago; with the Ormond Garage being available he started a brewery,” Mr. Lemoyne said. “We hired Adam Bolwork, a brewer from Wisconsin. The building is amazing.”
He added, “With the historical aspect, I think it will be a great draw plus we will have really great food and really great beer. A lot of people don’t know Ormond’s role in speed on the beach. People think of Daytona and NASCAR and don’t realize long, long before that, people came here to go fast on the beach in a straight line.”
Bill Jones owns the building, which was built in 1919. Dorian Burt is his project manager.
“Mr. Jones is bringing forth another great venue in his continual quest for improving the downtown,” she said.
Dan Smith, local beach racing historian and Hometown News columnist, has provided items for display, including the Stanley Steamer race car for which he is the unofficial caretaker. The City of Ormond Beach owns the car. He described the venture as an auto-themed craft brewery and grill.
Mr. Smith along with Suzanne Heddy approached the owner and others involved with the building years ago with the idea of making racing artifacts a part of the new restaurant/brewery. He has been involved in discussions for over a year to help bring it to fruition.
“All of us in the automotive community are very excited about it because it is going to be a defacto ‘Birthplace of Speed’ museum and brewery and eatery,” he said. “It will be sort of the local beach racing museum depicting what happened on Ormond’s beach during the heyday of racing back in the early 1900s. It’s going to be very unique, one of a kind, there won’t be anything else around here like it. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s something we’ve wanted here for a long time.”
There will be more than one car displayed, photos, historic film and other artifacts available for the public to view.
The building previously was used as a warehouse, said Steven Spraker, city planning director. “They have been doing site and building improvements and they are getting towards the end.”
The City Commission approved signage for the business July 30, Mr. Spraker said. “It’s a great reuse of a historic building, strengthening an area of the downtown, encouraging restaurants and people to come into the downtown area. Something that everyone can enjoy and look at, the history of the building and the racing aspect of it.”
The menu will consist of “upscale pub food.” The brewery has the ability to produce 10 uniquely crafted beers.
Ormomd Garage, at 48 W. Granada Blvd. in Ormond Beach, will be open for lunch and dinner daily.