River City Brewing reopening this month at Carmichael’s Milagro Centre

Gabrielle Karol, KXTV


River City Brewing hasn’t poured a beer in nearly a year.

For more than two decades, the brewpub was an institution in Sacramento’s Downtown Plaza. But when downtown redevelopment pushed owner Beth Ayres-Biro to search for a new home, she decided to take a bet on Carmichael’s Milagro Centre.

“Over Christmas we were like, what are we doing? Should we wash our hands [of this]? But now we’re re-energized and ready to go,” Ayres-Biro said.

After closing downtown in June, River City Brewing said it would reopen in Carmichael by Labor Day 2015. But with Memorial Day 2016 right around the corner, construction is still underway at the upscale dining center.

“If somebody’s ever done a project like this, they will understand,” Ayres-Biro said. “For anyone that hasn’t done any of these projects, I don’t recommend it unless you have a lot of patience.”

Milagro Centre developer Allan Davis said the permitting and regulatory processes took longer than expected, despite the full support of Sacramento County. He wouldn’t discuss specific financial details, but said the project was in the “seven-figure range.”

“It’s not a good return as far as investment goes,” Davis said. “But it is a good return as far as the community goes.”

In addition to the seven eateries moving in, the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce will also be relocating to the Milagro Centre. Executive director Linda Melody agreed that the process had moved slowly.

“The permitting – there’s so many different areas. You work with the county, code enforcement, health department, fire department, the ADA, so it’s not that simple of a process,” Melody said.

The Milagro Centre will also feature a large event space suitable for parties of up to 350 people. The uniqueness of the project has attracted significant interest in the Carmichael community, but it didn’t help the permitting process.

“There’s been some issues come up along the way, because there hasn’t been a development like this in Sacramento,” Davis said.

Meanwhile, a Sacramento County spokesperson said: “[The County] has worked very well with the owner and tenants on this unique, first-of-its-kind project – moving it through the permitting process. We are looking forward to the grand opening. There have been no major issues with County of Sacramento permits.”

The grand opening will indeed happen soon. River City Brewing is expecting to have a soft launch next weekend. As for the rest of the tenants? Davis said he expects Milagro to be fully up and running in June.

Copyright 2016 KXTV