Old Athens opera house reaches a Crossroads
Planners approve renaissance with brewing companyBy Colin DeVriesHudson-Catskill Newspapers
Published: Saturday, March 20, 2010 2:16 AM EDT
ATHENS — The rebirth and reimagining of the 1893 Brooks Opera House has been officially approved by village planners, paving the way for a fresh, new destination in Greene County: The Crossroads Brewing Company.
Ken Landin and Janine Bennett have endeavored to revitalize the dilapidated and crumbling opera house, once a pillar of the quaint Athens community, into something the village can be proud of once more.The village planning board unanimously approved the first phase of the three-story 15,000-square-foot structure’s transformation into the Crossroads Brewing Company, which will feature an 80-seat restaurant, a 46-foot bar and a fully-functional brewery, all on the ground level. The brewery is slated for opening in June or July, with the restaurant opening in fall.
“In a small village like this you have to become a destination,” said Landin, a contractor, formerly a resident of Queens who has lived in Athens for the past 18 years, “and that’s what we’re trying to do.”The impressive brick building — complete with bell tower — is located at the corner of Second and Franklin streets and will be restored to its historical appearance, resembling the time when it served as the community’s cultural nucleus.