Iron Hill, a regional beer and pub food chain, has announced it is partnering with two commercial builders to open its first production facility in Chester County.

In mid-September, the eatery signed a 20-year lease for an 18,000-square-foot facility at an Exton strip mall, The Shops on Eagleview Boulevard. The 100,000-square-foot shopping center in Uwchlan Township is co-owned by Malvern-based EKahn Development and J. Loew & Associates, said builder Eli Kahn.

With 16 locations throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and South Carolina, Iron Hill plans to construct a 10,000-square-foot brewery, 4,500-square-foot taproom, and a private dining room that can seat 150, the company said in a statement.

The brewery hopes to open next summer after Iron Hill demolishes and renovates part of a 48,741-square-foot space that Genuardi’s Family Market first inhabited before Safeway Inc. acquired the regional chain in 2000. Safeway closed around five years ago, Kahn said, leaving space that went unused in an otherwise filled shopping center.

Iron Hill is "going to do a complete facelift and renovation,” Kahn, founder of EKahn Development, said Wednesday.

A rendering of the inside of Iron Hill's new taproom in Exton.
Courtesy of Food Shelter PR
A rendering of the inside of Iron Hill's new taproom in Exton.

The expansion, the company said, will further its vision of having 20 restaurants by the end of 2020.

The Exton location — to be billed a taphouse instead of a restaurant — will hold up to 20,000 barrels of beer, more than three times the capacity of its other restaurants, and will be the site of an “innovative test kitchen" for new dishes, said spokesperson Mackenzie Maloney.

“We are very excited to enter into this new venture and we look forward to continuing to serve our loyal fan base in this new capacity,” Kim Boerema, chief executive of Iron Hill, said in a statement.

The taproom will be sandwiched among 12 other businesses at the shopping center, said Kahn, the developer.

In the meantime, he said, he is considering how to use the remaining 30,741 square feet at the former Safeway site, mulling the possibility of moving in small shops and a fitness center.

He estimated Iron Hill will begin renovating its space by the end of the year.