A new brewpub is now being developed at the end of Oak Street, in the former home of Cowbell Restaurant.
Calliope Beer Works takes shape in the iconic building, which was once a gas station and parking garage before it was converted into a restaurant, originally called Station 8801. It is located at a busy intersection just next to the parish line, with views of the green, embankments and passing trains.
A new brewpub factory is set to open by late summer.
Richard Szydlo is a longtime beer specialist building Calliope.
He’s a Chicago native who founded a brewery called Big Shoulders Beer Co. in his hometown. When he and his wife moved to New Orleans, he worked as a beer distributor.
“But I wanted to sell my beer,” Szydlo said. “We live in the neighborhood, six blocks away. When we saw this spot open I thought this could work.”
As a brewing pub, Calliope will make and serve its own beer on premises and offer a full kitchen, like other local brewers Bywater Brew Pub and Crescent City Brewhouse.
Szydlo is still interviewing the chefs, and said details of the menu will come later. It envisions a lot of joint appetizers with sandwiches and appetizers.
For beer, he will have a small in-house brewing system that can produce about seven barrels at a time. This means that the beer assortment will constantly change.
The only flagship will be the Belgian witbier. Gold rye beer is likely another mainstay.
“I want our beer to be food-friendly and accessible,” he said. “I like making basic beer with a little change.”
Cowbell was another loss in the woes of the pandemic, closing after 11 years. It was known for its burgers, Chef Brak Mai style with casual comfort food and a colorful ambiance.
Szydlo was drawn to the vibe that the place gives off, too.
“It’s such a fun and funky place that I think we’re going to do some fun things here,” he said.
Oak Street is actually home to one microbrewery, as distinct from a brewery. Oak Street Brewery opened in 2020 at 8201 Oak Street with a booth serving its own beer.
Calliope’s beer business
8801 Oak Street
Expected opening in late summer 2022
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