Abandoned Churches Become Beer Halls

Perhaps it could be the ultimate insult. A developer bought an abandoned church, turned it into a beer hall and advertises, “On the eighth day God created beer.”

Alcohol is treated differently across Christianity. Catholics serve it at religious rituals.  I grew up in the Swedish Covenant Church which was temperance at that time. In Iowa only beer could be purchased and only in limited places.

Church buildings are not easily converted to uses other than churches. The ceiling are high and the large windows energy inefficient. Maybe converting to bars and restaurants is one good option. For those with sentimental attachment and a religious hang up with alcohol it would be hard to tolerate.

The hard facts are that churches mostly are not viable economic models. A small number of people supporting a building that is use only a few hours a week plus a preacher and maybe a church secretary mostly will not pencil out. Bigger buildings with more people supporting one pastor has a better chance. A beer hall open eight to ten hours a day probably is a better fit.

I stopped last weekend at a pub in a small town that looked like it had been church several years back. Before going in I asked a local guy getting out of his old pickup if the place served food. In the candid why rural people talk he said, “Yeah, but it’s not the best.”

It was still doing better than the church it once was.

7 Responses

  1. Schurkey

    A buddy of mine bought a closed-down church. They were real hot to make sure he wasn’t going to open up some “undesirable” business like a bar or strip-club. (He wanted the building for storage–not a business.) They also made sure he understood that they were going to take down the steeple–as that somehow represented “church” more than stained-glass windows and such. He contributed hundreds of dollars towards the steeple removal in addition to the purchase price of the church building and land.

    It’s been a decade. He’s still waiting for them to remove the steeple.

    1. Schurkey 7:36 It’s been a decade. He’s still waiting for them to remove the steeple.

      Funny story. There is a church-turned-to-hippy-house in Arlo Guthrie’s Thanksgiving Massacre.

  2. Schurkey

    You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant…’ceptin’ Alice.

    I, for one, am looking forward to a Thanksgiving dinner that can’t be beat.

    1. Schurkey 10:14 You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant…’ceptin’ Alice. I for one am looking forward to a Thanksgiving dinner that can’t be beat.

      Some years I make a spoof post on Face Book something like this, “I’m so happy it’s Thanksgiving. Our family’s Thanksgiving ritual is to gather around the table, hold hands, and listen to Alice’s Restaurant.”

      We saw Arlo about a year ago–still doing his thing.

  3. Henry

    Jon:“Perhaps it could be the ultimate insult. A developer bought an abandoned church, turned it into a beer hall and advertises, “On the eighth day God created beer.”

    Not really a fit at all. In fact, Luther said, ““Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!”

    Contrast these happy thoughts with the scowl that develops on an atheist’s face when they are informed Voltaire’s residence in Switzerland was converted by the Geneva Bible Society to print Bibles. Now that must be an obomination.

    1. Henry 5:56 re: Contrast these happy thoughts with the scowl on an atheists face when informed Voltaire’s residence prints Bibles.

      Atheist are not opposed to people making profits.

      1. Henry

        Is that why O’Hair had stockpiled gold? Indeed, she wasn’t opposed to some kind of profit. She had a lot of gold apparently contributed by the hard efforts of atheist members.

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