moss Transforms Old Opera House into Brew Pub and Cafe


We have peeled back 70 years of dirt, grime and funky looking remodels of a historic Traverse City opera house to restore its original luster and charm. The result is Brew,  a coffeehouse and gastropub with a mighty list of local beer that uses repurposed elements to connect the city with its roots. Brew occupies the bottom floor of the 100-year-old opera house, whose maple floors, yellow masonry and rustic tin ceiling have been rescued from years of neglect. Windows that were obstructed by more recent construction work are incorporated into the new design to flood the space with natural light.

It’s not just the centenarian opera house that gives Brew it’s ultra-local construction: leftover wood from a nearby bowling alley forms sturdy tables, and wood from a old barn features in the design. Mid-century furniture lends the café a cozy, living-room feel. Pieces like the reclaimed pendant light fixtures echo the region’s sawmill history, while an old school 18-inch zinc bar with a galvanized pipe footrest rounds out the historical design elements.

A café by day (featuring locally roasted beans and a custom built pour over stand) and a tavern by night, Brew also offers food and spirits sourced from local farmers, artisans, distillers and brewmasters with continually evolving menus, cocktails and craft beer pairings.  Photos and project info inside.

Downlights:    Juno, Liton
Front area pendants:    Schoolhouse Electric
Main pendants: Reclaimed
Pendants over bar:    Roost Berlin
Banquette:    Custom designed by moss Design
Bar counter:    Custom zinc
Bar footrests:    Custom designed by moss Design, galvanized pipe
Bar fronts:    Ceramic tile
Door hardware:    Baldwin, Schlage
Wood cladding:    Reclaimed Cedar Barnwood from Traverse City
Kitchen equipment:    True
Plumbing fixtures:    American Standard
Interior windows:    Reclaimed from ReBuilding Exchange
Paint: Sherwin Williams, Harmony
Restroom tile:    The Tile Shop
Signage:    Custom designed by moss Design
Brew06 Brew05
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before. Yikes!
before. Double Yikes!