By Kari Pugh | Correspondent
The Weeping Radish, a major attraction on the Outer Banks since 1986, will have a new owner starting with the new year.
Sumit Gupta of SAGA Realty & Construction acquired the landmark brewery from owner and founder Uli Bennewitz in a deal that closed earlier this month.
In a statement, Gupta said he was thrilled to help preserve the popular brewery, farm, butchery and restaurant, calling the business “so much more than a place to eat and drink.”
The Weeping Radish is North Carolina’s oldest microbrewery, originally operating in Manteo next to the Christmas Shop and Island Art Gallery on U.S. 64. In 2005, Weeping Radish moved 35 miles north to a 25-acre farm in Currituck County.
The sale included the building, land and the business, according to a real estate listing posted earlier this year. The asking price was $2.6 million. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
“For over three decades we have pushed the envelope on what was possible for a small business,” Bennewitz said in a Facebook post announcing the sale. “From changing the law allowing brew pubs in North Carolina, building the first brewery and butchery, using exclusively sustainable local pork in our restaurant, to growing barley for our beer on our own farm, this has been a dynamic chapter in our lives that we will look back on with great pride.”
Gupta said when he and his partners first learned the institution was up for sale, they jumped at the opportunity.
“It really was a no-brainer for us. Uli is a legend in this industry, and to see this brewery and restaurant still going strong after four decades is so deeply inspiring, and a testament to his incredibly hard work and amazing foresight,” he said in the statement.
Bennewitz will continue to have a hand in the business as a minority partner, the statement said, and Gupta plans to expand on the restaurant’s “farm-to-table” offerings, expand the brewery and build a new beer garden.
The restaurant will close Jan. 1, with a “refresh and expansion of the space … tentatively set for some time in 2022.”
The Optimum Group, a Northern Virginia-based hospitality firm, will work with the new ownership on the business expansion.
Kari Pugh, firstname.lastname@example.org