Microbrewers to bring pub to downtown historic buildings


pecan_point_brewery_texarkana5[dropcap type=”3″]T[/dropcap]wo local microbrewers are attempting to finish restoring two adjoining, historic buildings downtown in hopes to bring Pecan Point Brewing Company to life.

“We hope to open by mid-September,” said John Hubbard, co-owner. Hubbard and his business partner, Bill Scurlock, will brew the beer themselves and the establishment will be Texarkana’s first craft brewpub and will include a full-service restaurant.

“We are located in a pair of century-old buildings in the heart of historic downtown,” Scurlock said. Located next to the Perot Theatre, the establishment is located at 213 Main St., is about 5,000 square-feet, and was built in the early 1900s.

Templeton Morgan Clothing Co. used to be a tenant in one of the buildings and frequently sold cowboy hats to singer Hank Williams. So don’t be surprised if you find a brew called a “Templeton Morgan” one evening at the pub.

“We plan to incorporate famous local people into the names of our beer,” Scurlock said.

[quote_center]“I really love history. Well, we both do. That’s why we named the place Pecan Point.”[/quote_center]

Pecan Point, in what is now northeastern Red River County, was successively a landmark, trading post, and focus of settlement on the Red River. The first Americans to live at Pecan Point were a dozen or more fugitives from justice who were residents there in the summer of 1811. Apparently, the transients left the place prior to June 1815 at which time George and Alex Wetmore, former sutlers with the United States Army during the War of 1812, established a trading house near the ancient buffalo crossing on the river.

Permanent Anglo-American settlement began in 1816. Walter Pool and Charles Burkham were the first settlers, followed closely by Claiborne Wright, who arrived on Sept. 5, 1816. By 1818 five Indian traders and 12 families were living at Pecan Point. During the early days of settlement, Pecan Point was a name equally applicable to either bank of the river. After the break-up of Miller County, Ark., in 1828, only the Texas settlement remained.

Pecan Point’s wide range of small-batch brews will include original recipes and will be influenced by Texarkana’s unique history and culture. The beer will feature locally grown hops from the brewery’s backyard hop garden.

Both Hubbard and Scurlock used to homebrew beer and are ready to tackle doing so on a much larger scale. They tackled the renovation of the two historic buildings with similar enthusiasm.

pecan_point_brewery_texarkan2“We removed all the interior walls ourselves except one, and all the flooring. It’s like peeling back layers and layers of history down to the concrete,” Hubbard said. The ceiling is “back to the original 1920s” tin ceiling,” he added.

The south building was once a saloon with a horse stable in back. The north building was owned by the first African-American doctor in Texarkana, Garling Uriah Jamison, Sr. (1876-1951).

In 1906, Jamison moved his family to Texarkana where he began his medical practice. He eventually opened the Jamison Sanitarium here and served as the chief surgeon.

Jamison was active in the community and served as president of the Texarkana Negro Business League. Founded in September 1910, the organization’s stated objective was “unity, service and stimulation of the desire to help (not hinder) the forwardness of our community life and well-being.” To promote this end, the Jamison building, at Oak and Third Street, was built in 1930 to serve as an office complex for African Americans in Texarkana.

It was the first building for black professionals in the region. The two-story structure included five suites and five separate offices on the top floor, six office spaces on the first floor, and a 200-seat auditorium for community meetings, concerts, and other gatherings. At its peak, the establishment housed three doctors, three dentists, two insurance agencies and two notaries, a realtor, bonding company, beauty parlor, county agent, stenographer, drug store, and barber shop, among other businesses.

Patrons to Pecan Point Brewing Company will be able to experience the brewing process via a virtual hallway, as Scurlock described it. Customers won’t be able to hover over any barrels, however, they’ll be able to witness the process from a very close distance.

A carefully designed lunch and dinner menu will be served daily, evolving frequently to accompany limited-edition and seasonal brews. Fresh ingredients will bring new life to traditional pub fare. Curated selections of wine and cocktails also will be available. Visit http://www.pecanpointbrewing.com/ for more information.


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