Third-floor restoration, microbrewery coming to Tin Pig

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The name of the planned microbrewery next to the Tin Pig might be a closely guarded secret, but the face of the new place was boldly revealed to the Perry Historic Preservation Commission Tuesday.


The Tin Pig restaurant opened in October 2019 in in the historic Gamble Block at 1203 Second St. in downtown Perry. The Sheffer family of Indianola, who own the building and operate the restaurant, plied a brisk trade for six months until the novel coronavirus global pandemic led Iowa’s governor to lock down the economy.

Six months later, an ill wind blew through Perry and brought a large chunk of the Gamble Block’s third floor to ground level, postponing the restaurant’s anticipated post-pandemic reopening.

Luckily, no one was hurt or killed when the derecho blew down the 120-year-old brickwork, and now the third floor will be fully restored to its original state thanks to the diligence of the Sheffers and the reasonableness of their insurance company, according to David Sheffer, who shared the restoration news Monday with the Perry Historic Preservation Commission.

“It should look the exact same as it did before,” said Sheffer, who said a construction fence will soon be built around the structure and scaffolding raised for the six-week project that will begin later this month.

He said Urbandale-based Tometich Engineering Inc. is designing the reconstruction, and Indianola-based Downing Inc. will be the project manager. Blond-toned bricks will be sourced from a California company to match the original facade of the Gamble Block, erected in 1899 and now on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

Sheffer also shared with the preservation commission the design of the facade planned for the coming microbrewery on the northern side of the building, the former home of the Mandarin Cafe.

The name of the new brew pub is a secret, Sheffer said, but he was willing to show to the commission a rendering of the proposed overhang for the brewery door and the new siding for the space. Work is also progressing on the upper-floor apartments, he said.

The Perry Historic Preservation Commission took no action but seemed pleased with the proposals and the prospect of a reopened Tin Pig.

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