Larry and Maria Pujol and neighbors Jim and Irene Stout are looking for a space downtown to open up shop and sell beer by the growler, a refillable glass bottle typically used by craft beer lovers, after the Canton City Council’s approval last week.
Larry Pujol said they’ve narrowed it down to a few vacant storefronts and expect to be open in three to six months. The store will be called “Stouts Growlers,” appropriately named after the Stouts, whose last name is also a type of beer.
The budding Canton business owners’ idea has been in planning for months, after it sprung up in a casual conversation over drinks at the Painted Pig Tavern downtown. The Pujols and Stouts had visited growler shops around metro Atlanta and grown to like the experience the stores offered.
“We thought ‘Well, it would be nice to have one in Canton,’” Larry Pujol said, adding that he thought the shop will help downtown.
But they couldn’t act at the time, because the city didn’t allow growler sales.
Canton’s position changed last Thursday, when the city council voted after months of discussion to approve an ordinance allowing the practice.
“We’re very excited that it passed,” Larry Pujol said. “We’ve been following it for months. And it’s an idea that’s been in our mind for maybe two years.”
Mayor Gene Hobgood said he expects the Great Sky residents’ store to be a tool for downtown Canton, just as similar stores have helped bring traffic to other downtowns in the area.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt about it,” he said. “Any tool that we can use to promote downtown and help it be revitalized is something we need to look at and try to initiate.”
The mayor said he didn’t see a growler store as “a major traffic generator, but it will bring some people downtown.”
Canton resident Jennifer Dunn feels about the same.
“I think it’s a great idea, and I welcome it,” said Dunn, who is active in happenings downtown. “It really goes a long way to making our downtown more of a unique destination. I look forward other specialty shops.”
Councilwoman Sandy McGrew was also pleased with the council’s move toward keeping up with the times.
“I’m excited that the council passed it, because this is the way to go,” she said. “This is what’s selling across the country. It’s trending. We’ve got to stay with time, while staying with our charms and history.”
While the draw of a growler shop might not be huge, McGrew said that’s not what downtown Canton needs.
“I don’t know that we need an enormous draw,” she said. “Canton is charming. It’s quaint. It’s historic. But (this) would give another outlet, another something to do, another reason to participate in Canton.”