Historic Buggy Building, Carthage

Historic Buggy Building, Carthage

While much of the area surrounding downtown Carthage is in the midst of moving and groovin’, the downtown area itself has been in what seems a perpetual holding pattern. But hold onto your beer mugs, because Southern Pines Brewing is planning on movin’ and brewin’ into the town’s iconic Buggy Building.

After decades of disrepair and thwarted hopes of revitalizing the historic 1856 Tyson and Jones Buggy Co. Building, the time has finally come.

What is arguably Carthage's most famous building was built as the result of its most famous industry, the production of carriages in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Meanwhile, one of Moore County’s most recent success stories, the Southern Pines Brewing Co., was built as the result of a retired Green Beret at Fort Bragg looking for something to do after his service career. In 2021, the company was voted “Best New Business” in the local Best of the Pines contest, and in April was voted Best of Show in the Carolinas Championship of Beer.

Micah Nieubauer, CEO and co-founder of Southern Pines Brewing, began talking with town officials and local economic development leaders about an expansion plan centered around Carthage.

“I threw my hat in the ring” after months of working out the details and an Aug. 24 public hearing, Niebauer said. He will own the building, planning a close before the end of the year.

“I am honored to preserve the last vestiges of what put Carthage on the map,” he said. “Our company takes our mission of building and fostering community more importantly than anything we do.”

The future plan is extensive. Nieubauer rattles off what he intends to do:

* providing hearty pizzas fired in an open kitchen’s pizza ovens;

* lunch, dinner and delivery service, including “quick delicious options for the courthouse crowd”;

* a large basement brewery focused on using local grains, unique fermentation blends and one-of-a-kind brews to replicate and replace the need for imports;

* multiple bars on two floors; and

* historical touches, decor and original details throughout the building, including “hopefully, leasing one of the original buggies and hanging it from the ceiling,” he said.

And that’s just the inside. Niebauer also has purchased surrounding property, including Dean’s Gold N Guns, that he plans to remove.

His hope is that the new brewery can be seen from the main road and can soon be used for the “event venue many of us have hoped to see here.” He plans to install a large grassy lawn surrounded by a low fence that will encourage people to sit outside. The outside property would include an area for a large stage, several brick fire pits, an outside bar, a semi-covered area for 75 to 100 people, then additional seating and areas scattered across the lawn. Niebauer is pleased with the parking situation as well.

While Niebauer has quickly built a sizable beer business in the area, he has not yet had the opportunity to take a stab at a common-factor for breweries: preserving local history.

“That piece is huge for us,” he said. “We are taking this preservation piece very seriously.”

Nieubauer believes that community is what makes the new Carthage venture so exciting.

“To be able to expand our footprint in our home, the Sandhills, is just incredible,” he said. “I don’t want to put the buggy before the horse, but we believe we are going to bring back this amazing building and contribute some of that amazing value back to the community.”

(Article by Sam Hudson, The Pilot)

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