Beer garden opens in downtown Bay City, helps raise funds for non-profits

The grand opening of the Drydock Beer Garden has already created a buzz in the city. Unity Park, a pocket park downtown, has been transformed into a seasonal beer garden.

It’s a partnership between two Bay City cultural assets that has resulted in a more vibrant downtown while also creating unique opportunities for area non-profits to enjoy fundraising opportunities.
 

"When you look at an attractive community, it has multiple layers with many points of interest. I believe with Drydock that we’ve created another point of interest," Alan LaFave

Drydock Beer Garden is a partnership between the State Theatre and Hell’s Half Mile Events.

The two non-profit organizations started Drydock as a way to raise funds for each. But given state liquor laws, the two organizations only get 12 temporary liquor licenses between them. By renting the facilities out to other area non-profits, who get to keep 100% of the proceeds, the beer garden can now stay open throughout the year.

Drydock is currently taking applications from non-profits for next year.

"Each non-profit has an opportunity to put their own personality into their nights. Yet we’ll try and remain consistent enough for the patrons that come for a beer and atmosphere, week after week," says Alan LaFave, president of Hell’s Half Mile Events.

"It’s a balance."

LaFave credits the city and a number of area businesses for getting the beer garden up and running in just three months. Big credit, too, goes to the owners of Unity Park, Don and Ashley Sabourin, for donating the use of their space.

Drydock Beer Garden, at 113 Center Ave. in downtown Bay City, is a partnership between the State Theatre and Hell’s Half Mile Events.A shipping container bar was installed, as well as seats and tables, and light landscaping performed. There could be live music on occasion. Lighting is going up next week.

All this, and a passive pocket park has been turned into an active one.

"When you look at an attractive community, it has multiple layers with many points of interest. I believe with Drydock that we’ve created another point of interest," says LaFave

"Hopefully patrons come have a beer with us and then go have dinner and drinks somewhere else downtown."

Drydock Beer Garden is located at 113 Center Ave. in downtown Bay City.

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