The biggest addition that will make River Rat Brewery’s rooftop bar a reality has been installed at the brewery located at 1231 Shop Rd.
A 30-foot grain silo that will serve as the stair tower to the rooftop was installed Wednesday. Mike Tourville told The State his plans to add a suspended rooftop bar in June. The bar will offer panoramic views of Williams-Brice Stadium, Owens Field and downtown Columbia.
“It’s going to be some really cool engineering,” said Tourville, who collaborated with engineer Bert Shuler on the project. “We’re going to have spaces cut out of the sides (of the silo) along the way so folks will get these really cool views on the way up. It’s going to be a very iconic art feature.”
Once customers go through the grain bin, they will be at the bar, which will be suspended five feet above the highest rooftop and supported by columns. The space will accomodate 49 people and will include a covered bar and open-air seating along with features such as mister fans, canopies and infrared heaters to make the space comfortable year round. The space is only for adults 21 and older but, like the brewery’s patio and deck space, can be rented out for private parties, Tourville said.
In addition to the rooftop addition, River Rat will also be getting a full kitchen, complete with fryers and a six-burner range, and a smokehouse to allow the brewery to produce even more of its customer-favorite foods of brisket and pork. A conveyor system will transport the food up to the rooftop.
“Our food program has grown so much,” Tourville said. “We do a lot with our smoker and prep kitchen. A full kitchen will only expand our portfolio and allow us to add brunch and, down the road, lunch. We'll also be adding liquor by the glass but that will mostly be for private events and brunch. It won't be a full-fledged liquor bar. Our focus is still beer.”
Tourville told The State in June he hopes to have the additions completed in September.