November 18, 2014 – Ed Bierschen
By August or September, Dave* Toth is hoping visitors will be able to sip a craft beer at a new microbrewery and restaurant being opened by Toth and his two partners at the Oxbow Landing development.
The Munster resident estimates about 15-17 people will be employed by Byways Brewing in the beginning. Based on the experience of other microbreweries, he said that could grow to a few dozen people within three or four years.
Toth and business partner Tom Duszynski began brewing on a small scale years ago, while partner Branko Sajn and his son bring restaurant experience garnered through the past operation of the Amore Ristorante in Crown Point.
The Hammond Redevelopment Commission gave its approval Tuesday to development and purchase agreements for the venture at 2825 Carlson Drive in Oxbow Landing, south of I-80/94 and east of Kennedy Avenue. A conditional determination of compliance also was given by the commission to the company, which still needs other city approvals including a zoning variance and conditional use permit.
The city is selling the company a 2.39-acre site for $336,000 with $331,000 of the cost coming by way of a forgivable note that will slowly disappear like a well-poured point of Guinness. If the company is still in operation in five years, they will not have to pay anything beyond an earnest payment of $5,000 for the land.
Toth said the partners will invest about $2.3 million for construction of a 12,000-square-foot building and equipment. The operation will sell beer to outlets in Northwest Indiana and Chicago as well as at their new facility. An outside patio area is also planned for the restaurant/taproom.
Oxbow Landing is at the site of the former River Park Apartments. Other projects at the 23-acre parcel along the Little Calumet River include a Buffalo Wild Wings and a Hampton Inn.