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Former bank building to become
 brewery, restaurant

Page Jones
Frederick News-Post

(5/30) A local couple plans to transform the vacant bank building on Thurmontís Main Street into a farm-to-fork brewery and restaurant, as well as a clothing and accessories business.

Maureen Flynn-Luther and James Luther, who live in Walkersville, plan to move their businesses to the building at 4 W. Main St. in Thurmont.

Barnwerk, the coupleís farm brewery in Walkersville, will be housed on the first floor of the building. The second floor will be Flynn-Lutherís office and storage space for her company, House of Flynn, a private, high-end design company that produces colorful camera bags, clothing and other accessories.

Flynn-Luther said Friday that she did not know when either business would open in Thurmont, saying any snag with licensing or remodeling could add extra weeks or months of work.

"Thereís no speculation on time right now," Flynn-Luther said, referring to opening dates. However, she added that her offices on the second floor would likely be ready first.

Flynn-Luther said she and Luther imagine the first floor with a rustic, industrial vibe that allows residents and visitors to sample Barnwerkís craft beer, which is made from sustainable ingredients. Visitors would snack on healthy food made using locally sourced ingredients ó a true "farm-to-table style," she said.

"We really want it to be a place where people can come and chill," Flynn-Luther said. She hopes to create an atmosphere that would be welcoming for couples on a date or for friends meeting.

The couple plans to preserve the historic nature of the building as they renovate and remodel, and even incorporate that into the design. Flynn-Luther said the interior will feature dark wood and dark iron, and display the bank vaults left from the buildingís days as the Thurmont Bank.

"I think history is important," Flynn-Luther said. "Itís not our right to come into town and totally make it something different."

The primary structure at 4 W. Main St. in Thurmont was built in 1891, according to the stateís Department of Assessments & Taxation database. Thurmont Bank sold the building for $210,000 to Levi Avraham in 2014. Avrahamís mailing address is listed in Hallandale, Florida, the database says.

Flynn-Luther said Friday that she found the Main Street building about a month ago while looking at other sites for office and warehouse space. The couple signed on two weeks ago, she said.

"We could move anywhere, but we like Thurmont and itís also a great place to raise a family," Flynn-Luther said. They have two children, but said there are no definite plans to move to Thurmont.

Flynn-Lutherís business, House of Flynn, will likely not sell merchandise out of the second floor of the building, she said, but that could change. She said she may purchase another building in Thurmont in the next two years if her business continues to expand at its current rate.

Theyíre beginning the process of drafting a site plan for the building and working with town officials.

"The next few months are going to be really busy, but itís very helpful when a town wants you to be there," she said.

Jim Humerick, the townís chief administrative officer, said at a town meeting Tuesday that he was enthused to have the new business in town and filling the long-vacant spot at 4 W. Main St.

"Itís a nice anchor spot coming into downtown, and I think itís going to be so exciting to get something in that building [with someone who is going] to make sure the integrity and character of the building stays," Humerick said.

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