DANSVILLE — The historic Dansville and Mount Morris Depot is transforming into the Battle Street Brewery.
The Acomb brothers have taken on the task of restoring the old depot, and turning it into a microbrewery and railroad museum.
Douglas Acomb told Genesee Country Express they are still waiting on the Restore NY grant to be approved by the state.
“We were told we were going to get it approved by mid-December, and we were all hoping that was going to happen,” he said. “We should get it approved soon.”
Dansville Village Clerk Megan Aldrich confirmed that the village board is still waiting for the state to approve the $285,500 Restore NY Communities Initiative grant.
“This has nothing to do with the local government,” she said. “It is the state that has to decide if we get the money or not. We were all hoping we would get it in December, but we are still waiting.”
Livingston County’s Grants and Public Information Coordinator Heather Grant told Genesee Country Express in October that the village board has to apply for this grant, because it is for municipal use only.
“It is money available for local municipalities to help restore or rehabilitate old dilapidated buildings,” she said. “They want to revive buildings and bring in economic development. This will bring visitors to the area, and more business to downtown.”
The work will maintain the basic footprint of the depot while restoring the exterior to the late 1800s look. The interior will contain a brewery, a tasting bar, a retail room, a couple offices, and a small museum/display room covering the history of the railroad and depot.
Acomb said they had a goal to restore the roof before the winter got bad.
“We had the goal to get a new roof on the depot, and we did that,” he said. “We stabilized it so it won’t sink. So far we have done the new roof and stabilized it.”
Acomb added that the plans still need to be finalized, they need a business permit, and a beer license to sell beer.
“We can’t do anymore improvements until our plan and permit gets approved,” he said. “We are waiting on a New York licensed architect to get back to us. Right now all we can do is demolition work, stabilizing, and the new roof.”
Luckily there was no water damage, Acomb said.
“We had some bad winds that could’ve blown the shingles off, so we got that done just in time,” he said. “We are glad there was no water damage.”
There is a small room on the south side of the depot that is perfect for a display of railroad history.
“We are pursuing the historical registry,” Acomb said. “It is a difficult thing to maneuver. There is a room close to the south end of the depot. This is the room you use to buy your tickets in. The ticket windows are still there. There is a lot of old stuff in the depot. They had an old typewriter. There is a lot of history. There are pictures of Dansville in there. We are going to dedicate that room to the railroad museum.”
The old ticket booth is going to stay in that room as well.
The depot was once owned by Robert Hart, who passed away, and it was sold to the Genesee and Wyoming Railroad. It was vacant for a long time before being purchased by the Acomb brothers in 2015.
“The community is definitely excited about the brewery,” Acomb said. “Everyone has been talking about it. We have talked to Joan Hart and her brother and they are both very supportive. The whole place is going to be one big museum. We will have a tasting room, artifacts on display through the building, and we saved a lot of stuff in there.”
They plan on being open by the summer of this year. Acomb said they are one of the 15 finalists in the Livingston County Brewery Contest.
Thomas and Dave Acomb are also helping out on this project. The three brothers are doing this for the community they have called home their whole lives.