While some brewers are finding hurdles in their efforts to open Loudoun operations, Tim Regan and Dean Lake at Dog Money Restaurant & Brewery in Leesburg said they’ve found broad support.
The business partners, surrounded by family members and Town Council members, celebrated its formal ribbon-cutting Monday afternoon. The restaurant opened somewhat quietly in June at 50 Catoctin Circle, but Regan and Lake wanted time to ramp up the business. That happens this week when a new menu is rolled out.
The pair thanked their families and staff members for their support. Regan noted that Chef Joe Ganzer took a leap of faith. “He picked up his life and moved here because he trusted me so much.”
On Lake’s thank-you list were a few surprises, including the state ABC officers and the town’s Utility Department.
“We’ve gotten support and advice from other restaurants in Leesburg. That may be counter intuitive but it happens all the time,” Lake said. “The brewing industry is a tremendously supportive network.”
He described the ABC agents they worked with as “instrumental and tremendously helpful.”
“There are a lot of things I could talk about that are not positive about government, but I am not going to do that,” Lake said.
Like many new businesses, Dog Money was faced with a series of last-minute hoops and hurdles at the time they planned to open. And the delays were costly—for the owners and for their 25 employees, Lake said.
“It was hurting our business plan, but it was hurting their ability to pay their rent,” he said, noting that large corporations may be able to absorb those impacts but small businesses cannot. “Doing it on a small scale is very difficult.”
One surprise, Lake said, has been from the town’s Utility Department. “I was getting calls when I would brew and use a large amount of water: Did you mean to use 1,500 gallons of water last night?” he said.
Data provided by the town has helped him become more efficient in his use of water—a service he touted during a recent convention of brewers from around the state. “I didn’t even ask for that. That was just offered to me in Leesburg.”