Our Town Beatrice: Mercantile Building

Pure Nebraska
Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 10:56 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2022 at 11:03 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Todd and Soni Hydo bought an 1880′s-era building back in 2016, and set out to renovate it. Now the building is a popular gathering spot for local residents.

“When we bought the building, we didn’t have a clear-cut idea of what to do with it,” Todd Hydo said. “We just knew we wanted to save the building. Construction started in 2017, and in that year, we decided the core business would become a brewery.” Stone Hollow Brewing Company was the first business to open in the newly completed space in March of 2019.

The building used to be a true mercantile. The main floor was split between a saloon and a clothing store. “Over the years, various other businesses were here, and the second floor was used for businesses, as well as rooms for rent,” Hydo said. “In 1902, it became a wholesale grocery business until the mid-1960′s.”

The main level is home to Stone Hollow Brewing Company. You’ll also find a boutique called the Blue Bulldog on the main level. “Behind that is Gorgeous Hanger, which is a clothing store for women and children,” Hydo said. “In the basement we have Blush Art Gallery and Ceramic Studio, and we have the Mechanical Room.” The Mechanical Room is a prohibitionist-style speakeasy cocktail lounge, where you’ll discover some of the limestone foundations of the building that add to the atmosphere. “Be sure to explore the building when you come in here,” Hydo said. “It’s all accessible. The second floor is under renovation. We put the brakes on it after the pandemic started. But, we are getting ready to fire up again, and renovate the second floor. It will be more businesses up there.”

Hydo says one of the more interesting features of the building is that while it’s an old building, it is all up to modern codes. “Also, we are the only state-licensed indoor entertainment district in the state,” Hydo said. “This means you are able to carry a drink in the commons area of the building legally. You can take it out of the patio, and into the various stores. We got that all passed. Also make sure you look at the walls of the building. The stock boys used to write on the walls when this was a grocery wholesaler business. So, many of these walls definitely have a story.”

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