The following statement was announced on Facebook via The Phoenix Emporium:
In February of 1997 I answered a newspaper job listing for a bar manager at a new brewery in Ellicott City. I had been to Ellicott City once before, on a date in college. My mother had to navigate me into town reading from a paper map book while I listened on my flip phone. I took that job at Ellicott Mills Brewing Company and the rest is history. My first hire was a gorgeous waitress who is now my wife of 20 years and mother of my two sons.
I stayed at Ellicott Mills for two years before venturing off to try my hand at other opportunities. When it was time to purchase my own restaurant, I could think of nowhere better than Ellicott City.
I purchased the Phoenix in October of 2001 at 29 years old. Owning the Phoenix has defined my professional career. I love Ellicott City and cannot fathom the possibility of the Phoenix not being on Main Street. The floods of 2016 and 2018 have taken a financial, physical, and emotional toll on my family, our staff, and all of our families, friends, and community that we continue to process to this very day. But we do not stop.
We have entered into an agreement with Howard County to sell our leasehold interest in the Phoenix effective April 1, 2020. March 31, 2020 will be our last day of operation of the Phoenix at 8049 Main Street. We have also entered into an agreement to purchase Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, bringing my Ellicott City experience full circle. Chef/Owner Richard Winter will retire following the transition after spending a lifetime of service in the kitchen. He will be sorely missed. Co-Owner Timothy Kendzierski and the management team of Dwayne Bouvere, Carrie Foley, and Jamie Voss will stay on as we navigate the merging of these two iconic Ellicott City businesses and will remain as we take this new venture into the future.
Effective January 1, the Phoenix will be operating both locations. The Phoenix will operate as normal through March 31. Ellicott Mills Brewing Company will operate as normal as we figure out our next steps together. We are eternally grateful for the support of our community and are overjoyed with the opportunity to remain a part of Ellicott City’s resurgence.
Here is that post:
Article update…here is information from Ellicott Mills Brewing Company via Facebook:
A new year is always a good time to rise above.
In 1997 I showed up at the doors of this new place in Old Town Ellicott City looking to do something different. Small breweries were a very new thing in Maryland. It was pretty exciting to be part of something that new. For over twenty years Chef Rick Winter and I have enjoyed the success and joy of a solid partnership. We are proud to have been part of the pioneers that turned a fledgling craft brewing niche into a thriving industry. To be in this business over two decades is unheard of. We have been blessed by a staff that has been the centerpiece and backbone of our success. It is their hard work and dedication over the years that kept this successful. We have also had great fortune in having a long term and loyal clientele that has become family. We love you all. CommUNITY is not just an idea. It’s a reality. You are the reason we are here and look foward to the future.
Times change. We get older and I hope wiser. Co-owner Rick Winter has worked tirelessly for decades here at the Brewpub after spending almost two decades before EMBC as an executive chef elsewhere. It has been Rick’s wish to have a well deserved and overdue retirement. I can speak for me and the staff here that things will never be the same without his leadership, example and dry sense of humor. I personally will be forever grateful for the opportunity to work along side him and learn and evolve.
When we opened our General Manager was a fellow named Mark Hemmis that has become a life long friend and colleague. Mark moved on after some time and eventually became our neighbor down at the Phoenix Emporium. We worked side by side as business owners for the common success of Old Town. We partnered on many charity functions and town promotions. We worked together through tragedy and worked hand in hand raising funds for our staff during difficult times.
In the coming months as some of you know Ellicott City is in for some big changes. Flood mitigation efforts will change the landscape here forever. We have friends in town that have to make big changes. One of those changes is the Phoenix moving up the hill. Here. With us! Mark is in the process of purchasing assets and operating EMBC.
We can think of no better way to deal with these changes than by becoming part of that change and having a staff that will join forces with another great staff to start a project right here at the brewery. I believe the merging of two of the greatest staffs I have come into contact with will be an amazing adventure and look forward to years in the future being part of the Phoenix in whatever incarnation the following months will make it!
So this is not goodbye in any way. We are still here. We look forward to the future and being a part of that team. We will all be evolving…”Rising” so to speak.
As more information about the merge of The Phoenix Emporium and Ellicott Mills Brewing Company is announced I will do my best to let my readers know when I know.