Downtown Jefferson follows the taproom trend with a new business called Revival Hall Taproom where people can enjoy craft beers, wine and a community space.
Mike and Jessie Martin, originally from Lawrenceville, made the big move with their five children to small town Jefferson and searched for their purpose.
Mike was a pastor for several years, so the couple has always been very active in their church and carried a strong faith about them. Naturally, they wanted to use their faith to make their mark in Jefferson, so they sought out fellow Jefferson residents to see what the city lacked.
“In the course of those conversations, people were like, ‘Oh, well you know what we need is a restaurant. You know what we need is a place to hangout downtown,’” Mike Martin said. “And we said ‘Yeah, yeah, but we’re thinking more important than that, like on a spiritual level.’”
The Martin's had in mind to help with deeper issues, like homelessness for example, but they kept hearing the same complaint: There’s nowhere for the people of Jefferson to hang out comfortably, Mike said.
Before they moved to Jefferson, Mike and Jessie were the taproom managers at their family’s brewery in Lawrenceville called Slow Pour Brewing Company. The couple thought about opening a second location brewery in Jefferson, but instead stuck to what they excelled at, which was the taproom side of the business.
Mike and Jessie stayed true to their faith and blended the idea of having a taproom with their mission to serve the people of Jefferson, which is where the name Revival Hall came into play.
“The word revival is important to us. It does a couple of things—it inspires faith questions, people will ask ‘What’s the deal with the name,’ and it allows us to talk. But we want the taproom to be more than people just hanging out. It’s going to be a space where we give more to people than we get from people,” Mike said.
The Martin's reference the hall as the community living room. The business owners designed an environment that is warm, inviting and comfortable. Guests are asked to make themselves at home and use the taproom as their own space. It’s a place where people of all ages are welcome, and the only place in town where people can enjoy live music, board games, food trucks and a cozy atmosphere. There are 20 beers and six wines on tap, including a non-alcoholic root beer for people under 21-years-old or who may not drink.
“I looked around on Saturday night and I loved it,” Jessie Martin said. “There were families everywhere and at every table… And that’s what Jefferson is, it’s families. So, we have to be a place where families are welcome,” she said.
Nestled downstairs of the taproom is a children’s hideout where kids can mingle and play, but they are allowed in all areas of the taproom. Two dart boards hang near the rear of the building, corn hole boards are on site and there are plenty of snacks and games to spread around the room.
The Martin's aren't only downtown to serve people brews and entertainment, they’re serving their guests with hospitality and take-home messages with special events that feature local pastors or professionals in a specific field. The goal is to keep conversations flowing outside the taproom and for people to walk away having learned something new, the Martin's said.
“We are going to do a thing called Marking and Meaningful Events where you come in and have a beer and have a good time, but you’ll also learn something about marriage or business or parenting…Events that really pour back into people and our faith is going to be a part of that,” Mike said.
The entire business is wrapped around the Martin’s faith. The Revival logo is called a hops symbol, but it was inspired by the crisscross design commonly seen on the ceiling of a classic church hall and the pattern of a hops flower. The inside of the building was designed with a stained-glass-inspired accent wall and a large piece of artwork showcasing the blueprint of a church hall that rolls up and down to hide a flat screen TV when it is not in use for football games and events.
It may seem a bit unusual to some people, but the Martin family stands by their business and how they intend to use the space; They just hope the people who are concerned about the space give their small business a chance and realize the taproom does not operate like a bar.
The motto of the business is,“serve the people and bless the city.”
“Those are the two things we want to do at the highest level. We want people to come in and just feel served on an exceptional level, and I think they do, we hear it a lot,” Mike said. “The second thing we want to do it bless the city. So, that’s the thing and when people don’t understand what the space is, we just hope they give us a chance, and they are, but we want more for our city than what we want from it. This isn’t something we built to generate income, this is something we genuinely want to use as a tool to serve the city,” he said.
Small Business Spotlight is a periodic feature highlighting unique small businesses in AccessWDUN's 10-county coverage area.