The Brandy Bar building was acquired in 1991 from the Flynn family, who had owned the property since 1915, the year the building was placed on the tax books for Henderson County. The current owner is the first person outside the Flynn family to acquire ownership of the building since its construction thus ending 90 years of family ownership. References in old deeds indicate that the building was actually constructed around 1911 but not placed on the tax roll until 1915.
The building is considered a contributing structure to the Historic 7th Avenue Depot District, one of only three surviving intact depot districts in the state. The Brandy Bar building was placed on the National Historic Register in 1986.The Train Depot was new at the time of this building’s construction, having been completed in 1905. The addition of a train depot would serve as a catalyst to further boost this thriving commercial district. The building directly behind The Brandy Bar building is referred to in old deeds as the “Justice Carriage Repair” and was constructed in the late 1800s, not long after the incorporation of the Town of Hendersonville in 1838. It still houses the old anvil that weighs at least 800 pounds and is itself a work of art.
The Brandy Bar building was constructed by H.M. Flynn as an addition to his grocery store he built in 1913 and located to the east. The buildings were attached by a party wall. Mr. Flynn rented his new building to Mr. Fetner for his harness repair and shoe repair shops and the original sign hangs in the bar area of The Brandy Bar.
The renovations to The Brandy Bar building have kept intact the original structure with only minor upgrades, i.e. handicapped accessible bathroom, replacing dirt floor of the basement with concrete. The front doors (4’ by 8’) are the original doors, including their exterior screen doors, now painted burnt orange. All transom windows and plate glass fronts have been retained, providing lots of natural interior lighting.
In the early 1900s when the Depot District was the main entry into Hendersonville, the road running in front of the building, Anderson Avenue (now Seventh Avenue East), was a dirt road. The Brandy Bar building contributed to a thriving commercial area with heavy traffic brought in from the Train Depot located approximately 250 feet to its west. The Station Inn, located 200 feet north of the Train Depot, accommodated passengers arriving for a stay in Hendersonville, all contributing to the liveliness of the area and defining the area as the main entrance into the Town of Hendersonville.
The current owner of The Brandy Bar building began renovating the 100-year-old structure in the fall of 2016 and finished March 2018. The effort was to keep the building as original, both inside and outside, as when it was constructed in 1915. Originally the owner had planned on placing a brandy distillery in the building with a tasting room. While developing a recipe for the pear and cherry brandy the owner was faced with the many obstacles of whiskey production in an ABC controlled state. The process of distilling was also a very time consuming and costly process. The owner contracted with The Carriage House Distillery in Lenoir, North Carolina to develop and bottle the owner’s own brandy. The partnership would work together until the appropriate recipe could be perfected and the necessary license and label approval was received from the TTB and the NC ABC Commission. This process continues to be pursued with the ultimate goal of having a finished brandy product by the end of 2018 which will be premiered at The Brandy Bar.
The distilling process has created its own detour but the Owner views it as an opportunity to introduce Western North Carolina, specifically, and North Carolina in general to the wonderful world of brandy, a little-known whiskey in its own right.