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Beermann’s offers new renting option

Owner would lease rooms to separate users
By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Those interested in opening a business in downtown Lincoln now have a new option on the table: leasing a portion of the empty Beermann’s Restaurant in downtown. That’s according to Tony Wood, who is responsible for marketing the 12,800-square-feet Fifth Street building as well as any activity that happens with the building. “We have just begun marketing it as a multi-user facility,” Wood said. The asking price for someone purchasing the whole building is $2.95 million, according to Wood. “The lease is subject to how much they take down and it’s open to negotiation.” Wood said he has shown the building to 50 “interested parties” in the past four years. “It’s very difficult for people to get their heads around the full operation because there are three floors, three kitchens, four dining rooms, three bars, a giant event facility that seats 500 and a full-blown brewery,” Wood said. “Now we’re working on putting elements together and leasing them out to several different companies, with someone for the brewery, restaurant and events.” Wood said the challenge would be working out utilities because they’d be shared. David Rosenaur still owns the building, according to Wood. Rosenaur moved to San Diego and closed the restaurant, Wood said, leaving it “furnished down to the silverware.” The building has either been “too big” or those viewing it were “undercapitalized,” according to Wood. “They’ve all had one thing in common: after a tour of Beermann’s, they loved the facility,” Wood said, who described the restaurant as “beautiful and so periodical.” Steve Art, economic and redevelopment manager for Lincoln, said “a beautiful new restaurant” is what he’d like to see in that location, and is prepared to help out any new owner. “It depends on what their needs are, like if they need redevelopment assistance, getting them through the tenant improvement process, and what we require as a city to open a new restaurant,” Art said. “We would desire to have a business in that location and we would try to green light it as much as possible.” A new business in the building would help downtown Lincoln, according to Art, who said local business “lost 20 percent of business when Beerman’s closed” in January 2006. “It was a big draw to downtown and people came from out of town,” Art said. If a business were to open in that spot, according to Art, it “would bring up sales tax and could result in customers shopping” in other downtown stores.” Beermann’s provided a “multiplier” factor, and “allowed shopping in other retail stores,” according to Art. Diana Burke, who owns Simple Pleasures restaurant across the street from Beermann’s Restaurant, said she’d like to see a restaurant open at that location. “We were busier when Beermann’s was here,” Burke said. “If customers enjoy one facility, they could go to another.”