Three years is not really all that long, but amazing things can happen. The Fort George will be celebrating its’ third birthday on March 14th this year. When Chris and I started putting this together in the Winter of ’05 we had solid pub and brewing experience, the belief and trust of family and friends who invested in us and a vision to build the kind of place we would both like to drink beer in. We didn’t always agree on all the details, but the overall goal of being people and community centered always prevailed.
In the late Spring of ’06 it started to become frighteningly real as we pulled into town after an exhausting 7 day trip to Virginia to fetch our brewery. Months of demolition and rebuilding with Dana, Anthony and his crews started to come together when we hosted the Bob Marley Birthday Party with Ma Barley before we were ready to open. It seemed like this might actually work, at least as long as we featured a reggae band and free chicken.
Finally, on March 11 we opened our doors. Most of this time is a blur to me as a vague 18 hour a day beer fueled frenzy, but what really stands out are the people. We had a pretty tight-knit family group develop while we were under construction, but things really got interesting when we brought in a staff and our public to the public house. Brigid is still with us from the original opening day staff. Chris Huff put his mark on the place. Shannon started early on. Sarah came in to apply and I handed her an apron. Megan, Chandler and Erin helped us get through our second summer. We now have a staff of over 20 dedicated people who make this place better every day.
Paul was our first regular, and the first to be cut off. That is better than hanging a dollar bill on the wall. Folks were very encouraging and kept supporting us even when they had to wait forever to get a burger. Now I see people all over the region who I have gotten to know through the Fort.
Babies have been conceived, born, learned to walk and talk since we opened our doors. We too, have outgrown our original plans and were fortunate to have a landlord willing to let us stretch out and take over his buildings so we can throw bigger and better parking lot parties, make more beer and generally contribute in our small way to this amazing area we are all lucky to live in.
Three years isn’t a long time and we have no intention of slacking now. Our growth plans, while ambitious are all rooted in our overall goal of giving people an excellent place to enjoy beer and each other. We will continue to count on our patrons and staff to continuously improve our standards. I ask you all to do your part in our success by filling out a comment card, send us an email or just stop one of us and tell us how we can make this Public House even better.
- Jack Harris, Co-Owner