Lisa Fielder shows plans for the taproom , featuring an upstairs and a downstairs , each about 2500 square feet . In addition to stairs , there will be an elevator .
Fielders ’ vision , Abbey has an opportunity to design an establishment that will reflect Alpine ’ s beauty and hopefully inspire its residents .
Abbey ’ s design features will include homages to Alpine ’ s railroad history , geologic context , cultural setting within the southside barrio , and its place within the International Dark Sky Reserve . She will incorporate as many natural materials as she can get her hands on , and is working with Marble Mountain , an ambiguous geologic feature which Abbey says was once a source of marble . She envisions an interior with geodes , agates , sparkling stars , railroad ties , handsome old-west style bars , seating as comfy as the clouds , and an exterior that matches the local adobe and desert aesthetic . “ Alpine deserves something nice ,” she says . For now , the site of the taproom sits on an empty field on Murphy Avenue , but soon , construction will begin , and the Fielder family dream will take root .
Will it bring people together ? That ’ s the sincere hope of those working on the project , although the idea of a brewery on Alpine ’ s southside has been met with some hesitation .
There were concerns about the increase in traffic it may bring ( the taproom will bring in less heavy traffic than most of the neighboring businesses bring in ). There were concerns about the water usage ( the Fielder hired consultants to streamline and manage water usage very carefully ). There were concerns about what it would look like and the height of the building ( it isn ’ t taller than any of the other buildings in the same area ). But more frightening than any of that , is the sense that some have that this is going to be the beginning of the end for the southside barrio lifestyle .
The barrio neighborhoods of Alpine ’ s southside have a very special history , full of pride and perseverance through many generations . Residents do not want to lose their heritage and the idea that the southside could attract more attention and generate outside growth means for some that the very face of the southside is in danger of changing . That issue is much larger than one family owned and operated taproom , though . A critical look around Alpine — southside and beyond — reveals abandoned homes and businesses , dilapidated buildings , and few options , if any , for what to do on a Friday night . Murphy Avenue , dubbed Murphy Street some years ago , has long been the focus of business rejuvenation efforts . It currently boasts a wine bar , a restaurant , a plant and gift shop , a general store , an overnight rental , a coin-operated adult game room , a recently built law office and Saturday ’ s farmer ’ s market .
The taproom will be the first largescale new build the street has seen in a long time , though , and that is scary . But if the Fielders can pull off their dream , they will have built a place that nurtures local identities rather than destroys them . �
26 Cenizo Summer 2022