While Friede & Associates was busy constructing Vintage Brewing Company in Sauk City, Wisconsin in 2017, planning had already begun for a fourth location on Madison, Wisconsin’s near eastside. Vintage Brewing Company President Mark Kraemer disclosed to the Friede team in the Fall of 2016 that they were in negotiations to lease the first floor of a building that would be built at the corner of Livingston Street and the 800 block of East Washington Avenue.
Ultimately, this project would consist of a 7,186 square foot commercial build-out on the main floor of an eight-story office tower that was under construction simultaneously. This space would act as a satellite location for the growing company, similar to its sister location at Vintage Spirits & Grill, located near the UW campus. Both satellite locations rely upon the infrastructure they developed at their West Madison Vintage Brewing Company location on Whitney Way and their full brewing operation in Sauk City. This new eastside location would have a more urban feel, rather than the comfortable old-time supper club aesthetic of their other locations.
Vintage Brewing Co. was recently awarded two gold medals and earned the title Large Brewpub of the Year at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival.
The first step in the development of this concept was to engage a different architectural firm than those used in the past, one that could help them develop a new feel and vision for this location. Ultimately, Lake Delton, Wisconsin’s Architectural Design Consultants, Inc. (ADCI) was selected and engaged by Friede & Associates as our design-build partner in the Fall of 2017. ADCI also assisted in the development of the new concept and interior package, bringing the Tangent concept to life.
To complete this work, Friede crews and our subcontractor team were responsible for the installation of all under slab utilities and pilings for the internal mezzanine, floor concrete, steel stud and drywall work, floor coverings and other miscellaneous finishes, full-mechanical system, including fire protection, and kitchen and bar equipment.
The $1.3 million project was completed in just six months, with Tangent opening for business in January 2019.
The new bar would take advantage of its location adjacent to Madison’s newest entertainment venue, The Sylvee, and to cater to the growing millennial crowd living in a series of new high-rise apartment complexes in the East Washington Avenue corridor. The resulting design would feature more exposed and fabricated metal features, take advantage of the building’s extensive glass exterior, provide two separate three-season exterior dining areas, and feature an enormous wall mural that is visible from East Washington Avenue.
Since the first floor of the building featured nearly 20-foot ceilings and storage space was at a premium, the development of a mezzanine above the kitchen also became part of the project. Once the design concepts were developed and plans completed in the Spring of 2018, final lease negotiations and municipal approvals were secured at the end of summer. Shortly thereafter, construction was underway by the last week of August.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature reared her ugly head, making an already tight and complicated site even more challenging. August rainstorms produced devastating floods in Madison, resulting in city streets being closed in the immediate area for weeks on end, including lanes of East Washington Avenue. Livingston Street, which was already under construction, quickly flooded, severely limiting access into the south side of the building. Due to the rising water table, our sub-grade excavation for sewer and water connections very quickly included pumping operations.
One additional challenge also surfaced during the summer, with soil reports showing a need for concrete pilings for the planned mezzanine due to poor soils within the building envelope. Once soil information was obtained, structural engineers determined that helical pilings would be needed at each foundation base of the mezzanine and they would need to be in concert with other building infrastructure and superstructure. These pilings were installed in mid-September, with construction really getting into the swing by October.
The project moved along rapidly, with dozens of subcontractors and suppliers working closely to coordinate both material delivery and installation. Due to the job site’s tight footprint with a now-occupied building with an entertainment venue open in an adjacent part of the building, communication between all team members was paramount.
While Friede crews were busy with the interior build-out, Trent Kraemer, one of the owners of Vintage Brewing Company, was busy creating the unique and special decorations that would adorn the new space. Trent had previously created many of the unique features that bring their restaurants to life, including bar finishes, wall features, and styled lighting.
Once the interior walls were completed in December, the kitchen was installed and the elaborate finishes, including radiused light coves and chandeliers, the massive wall mural and detailed floor tile were in by early January 2019.
With everything in place and operational, Tangent opened for business during the third week of January. Unfortunately, Mother Nature continued to play a major role in the project’s development as a major winter storm hit Madison on January 22nd, closing city offices, schools and effectively turning the opening week into an extended soft opening of their operations.
Ultimately, this project was successful because of the communication between the project team and their coordination with the contractors constructing the eight-story office building in which Tangent is located. The team overcame an incredibly tight site, flooding, poor soils, limited space, and the challenge of building in downtown Madison to bring a new member to the successful Vintage Brewing Company family.
UPDATE: The attention Vintage Brewing Co. received at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival has prompted Vintage's owners to reconsider the branding and how they position Tangent Kitchen & Taproom in the marketplace.
Because it is now more evident that it is connected to Vintage and is a sibling to the brewpub’s three other locations—Vintage Brewing on Whitney Way, Vintage Spirits and Grill near the UW campus, and Vintage Brewing in Sauk City—Tangent recently underwent a rebranding and re-opened the first week of December 2019 as Vintage Brewing Co. Capitol East with a new atmosphere and new food offerings that more closely match its other locations.