A first look at plans for the former Lagunitas building

161 east bay street former lagunitas building
161 East Bay Street | Image: The CHStoday team

Ever since Lagunitas moved its brewery + taproom out of 161 East Bay Street last year (having ended their lease barely one year after opening, citing overly burdensome repairs), we’ve been eagerly awaiting word on what will go inside the historic three-story brick building next. We reached out to the building’s owners – and now, CHStoday can be the first to tell you exactly what they’ve got mapped out.

Enter: Monogram at East Bay. The first floor will house a still-TBD restaurant tenant (more on that in a minute), while the second + third floors will house a private event space (complete with an all new rooftop terrace).

illiustration of event venue design
An event venue, accommodating 140-200 people, is planned for the building’s second + third floors. This is a preliminary conceptualization illustrating how it could look. | Image: Provided

The name itself, Monogram, pays homage to the very first business to call 161 East Bay home – a late 19th century wholesale grocery + retail store called F.W. Wagener & Co. which used the giant space to house both its storefront + warehouse. Monogram was the name of the store-brand products sold by the business (think: Walmart’s Great Value brand, or Harris Teeter’s HT Traders).

We’re told all of the necessary repairs + demolition on the centuries-old structure have been completed – and now, the building’s owners (N.J.-based development and investment firm Heights Equities) are working on redesigning the building’s interior and adding a brand new, private roof terrace (for which plans have already been approved) that will accompany the event venue. They’re targeting late spring 2020 for an opening.

rooftop terrace illustration former lagunitas building
Plans to add a private roof terrace to the building have already been approved. This is a preliminary conceptualization illustrating how it could look. | Image: provided

Now, here’s where you come in: we’re told the owners are still trying to pin down a restaurant tenant for the first floor. They want a place that’s “top notch” – somewhere that will complement both the surrounding East Bay corridor as well as the upstairs event space. Beyond that, developers are pretty flexible about what kind of restaurant could move in next, aside from one stipulation: no more breweries.

Know of a restaurant, chef, or concept you think would be the perfect choice to anchor 161 East Bay? Share it with us in the comments below. Who knows? Your idea may just become a reality. 

UPDATE: We shared some of our readers’ top restaurant suggestions – check them out over here.