If you worship at the altar of beer, we’ve found just the spot for you. “Hands go up (in the church) as if they are praying,” Part-owner Karl Vann says. “But they actually have an iPhone and are taking a picture.” It used to be St. Joseph Catholic Church. Now, it’s St. Joseph Brewery and Public House. But some of the old history still remains in this new brewery and restaurant. Karl Vann is one of seven owners who took the church and turned it into a restaurant, which opened this May at 540 N. College Ave. The Catholic Archdiocese decided to deconsecrate the church, though, its last mass held in 1949. Top decision makers in the Catholic Church said the area was becoming less residential and more industrial. Now, though, it’s the opposite: More and more people are moving downtown and close to the brewery. …The bar in the restaurant is made from reclaimed wood from the parish. Old pews line the waiting area. And the holy-water fonts still reside by the entrance. Plus, a lot of the beers get their names from the church itself. For example, there’s a “Dowds Stout,” named after Father Francis B. Dowd, who was pastor at the church until his death in 1942.
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