Architectural Review Board OKs microbrewery design plan for Hartsville

May 2, 2019

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The city’s Architectural Review Board has given its blessing to the exterior design plan for a microbrewery and restaurant in the expanding downtown area.

A group of local investors is planning to open Wild Heart Brewing Co. later this year in the former Gardner’s Fertilizer building at 317 Railroad Ave. The building is in an area targeted for redevelopment and is in the area of the planned Canalside District, a major redevelopment effort in the city.

The board’s approval came during its April 17 meeting. The action moves the business one step closer to becoming a reality.

Casey Hancock, who along with his mother owns the nearly 6,500-square-foot building, is one of the principal investors in the project.

Hancock has said the business will offer a family-friendly environment with outdoor spaces and other features to make it attractive to families.

The plans call for the building to keep some of its most prominent features, including its “red barn” look and color scheme. A large oak tree at the existing front on the northeast corner of the building will also stay. The building’s west side, or canal side, will become the new front when the renovation of the building is complete.

The architect for the project said the aesthetics of the building will blend with the surrounding area, including the water feature in the Vista area across Railroad Avenue from the building.

The Hartsville City Council amended the city’s zoning ordinance last year to accommodate microbreweries and brew pubs in the central business zone and industrial zoned areas of the city.

City officials are hopeful the project will help attract more restaurants to the area.

Officials said a brewery is not part of the current downtown business mix and the new business will fill a niche and help attract new businesses.

Hancock said Gardner’s Fertilizer was started by his late grandfather Harrell Gardener after his return to Hartsville from World War II. He said the building itself, which is thought to date back to the 1920s, was originally built on East Carolina Avenue and decades later was moved to its current location.