UPDATE: Beer Grotto Goes Up For Sale, Will Remain Opened

beer grotto

UPDATE: Mike Rudowyj, director of operations for Beer Grotto, LLC., contacted us this morning with good news. The Beer Grotto will exist largely as it is, whether someone buys the location or not.

“The Beer Grotto in Dexter Michigan is a continuously running viable business,” Rudowyj said in an emailed statement this morning. “It is not closing.”

Rudowyj shared that potential buyers have approached owner Troy Ontko in the past about buying up Grottos and adding a restaurant into the mix.

“Several residents have requested this as well,” he said. “The business is offerred (sic) for sale to allow those who would add restaurant services to the location.”

A followup email with more questions was sent to Rudowj at 11:15 a.m. today, such as whether or not the commercial property listing includes real property and a Beer Grotto brand license, as well as whether the current beer distributors and other vendors would continue their relationship with a Beer Grotto under new ownership.

It’s unclear if this is the company’s approach to franchise or something in lieu of franchising, which in one of the below images of the Beer Grotto’s website still indicates that that portion of the business is a work in progress.

Typically when the owner of a commercial business lists their property for sale, it either changes hands and is re-branded and re-launched as a new or mostly new business entirely or if a buyer doesn’t turn up with the money to seal the deal, the business shutters and is sold off.

Rudowyj strongly emphasized: “If no offers for the restaurant facility come to fruition, the Beer Grotto fully intends to continuing operations as we currently do.”

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Immediately upon opening the Dexter location in 2014 Lansing-based The Beer Grotto made a huge foamy splash in both the Dexter business community and beer scene.

Despite that initial good will and enthusiasm, it seems like The Beer Grotto of Dexter is potentially nearing its final last call, at least under current ownership and management, since the business location is currently listed for sale on the commercial real estate market.

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The 3,254 square foot retail restaurant space is currently listed for $350,000 with indication in the listing that the Lansing The Beer Grotto is also up for sale, although there’s no mention of the company’s Ann Arbor location being on the open market.

The Beer Grotto Spokesperson Lisa Jansons has been contacted for comment but has not responded as of publish. Her explanation and comments will be added in an update to the story.

beer grotto
The Beer Grotto expanded to Dexter in 2014 and reached three total locations in Michigan with company representatives indicating a strong desire to convert the business from a small chain of “grottos” to a full-on franchising business.
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It would be a shame to see the closure of a downtown Dexter business that was so positive on and supportive of the Dexter community as a whole. Those who operate the Dexter Grotto were active in Dexter from a business perspective and also were champions of the beer experience in Dexter and beyond.

“Craft beer can be very intimidating,” said former company spokesperson Jake VanAtta. “Our majority owner Troy (Ontko) saw a niche that wasn’t being met. To be able to try beer, really learn about the beer instead of going up to the bar and paying $8 for a pint and hating it.”

Beer Grotto guests can try any beer on tap before taking it home in 64-ounce growlers or 32-ounce howlers, at least while the doors are still opened.

“What makes us different is the people,” VanAtta said. “When someone comes here they know they’re going to get the customer service they deserve and if not we’re going to find ways to fix it.”

We’ll be sure to update our readers with a response from The Beer Grotto folks when one is available.

Check out WeLoveDexter.com’s copious coverage of The Beer Grotto and the many interactions with other local organizations and events it hosted since the doors opened.

If there’s news you’d like to see published on WeLoveDexter.com contact Content and Community Manager Sean Dalton at [email protected].

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