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Monday, May 20, 2024

Bill’s Front Porch closes, will re-open as taproom to support growing brewery

The current 7-barrel brew house sits beside the restaurant and bar of Bill's Front Porch. The new building, which will include a 20-barrel brew house and a new taproom, is located just behind the restaurant on Cinema Drive. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Citing a shift to its brewing operations and ongoing construction on Market Street, Bill’s Front Porch has closed its doors. Its owners plan to convert the space into a taproom and event space. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

WILMINGTON — After a nearly four-year run on Market Street, Bill’s Front Porch has announced it will close and convert the building into a full-time taproom and event space for the company’s growing brewing operations.

The brewpup — part of a Bill’s campus that includes Capt’n Bill’s Backyard Grill, a large sand volleyball court complex, and a new brewing production facility — announced the decision Tuesday morning on its Facebook page. A new taproom is expected to open inside the building on March 17.

Bill’s is a family-run business, owned by John Musser and his daughter Brookes Musser, whose husband Donnie Stone helps run the brewery’s operations with head brewer Jim Deaton.

The decision was based on two years of construction on Market Street that hurt customers’ ability to reach the location, a shift towards beer production, and a desire to condense business operations.

“We made this decision based on multiple factors,” according to the Facebook announcement. “One reason is due to the opening of our production facility and continuing to shift our focus to the beer side of the business. We also took a hit with the road construction that took place on Market Street. During the three-and-a-half years we were open, two of those years our customers had to work really hard to get into our parking lot to come eat with us, which over time took its toll.”

The decision was also made to condense the company’s operations to spend more time with a growing family, according to the post.

The building is now planned to be converted to a full-time taproom and event space called Bill’s Brewing Co. Taproom. Taproom customers will be able to order food from Capt’n Bill’s next door, which “will now offer Bill’s famous fried chicken, tater tot skillets, the Pub-Fil-a and other favorites from the original Bill’s Front Porch menu,” or they can bring their own food.

The new taproom will be open Tuesday-Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Mussers also plan to host special events in the taproom, including beer dinners with local vendors, ‘pop-up food nights’, and weekly specials and events.

They also announced that Bill’s Food Truck will continue to serve the Wilmington area.

“We thank you all for the support you’ve shown us and continue to show us and we hope to see you on March 17th as we open the doors to Bill’s Brewing Co. Taproom,” according to the post.

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