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Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery and Eatery

Peoria, IL

Overview

Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery and Eatery in Peoria, a city landmark that is also on the National Register of Historic Places, was salvaged by the Conn’s Hospitality Group, a family business that specializes in renovating older buildings. The limestone structure, dubbed the Cornerstone Building, began life in 1889 as the Second Presbyterian Church. In 1949 it was purchased by the Masonic Order of the Eastern Star and was known as the Donmeyer Temple until 1985. After several years as an arts center, it was reborn in 2016 as the restaurant portion of Obed & Isaac’s.  

Notable Nugget

In 1969, the Cornerstone Building was almost torn down to make way for a gas station, but the public raised such an outcry that the rezoning bid for the property was quashed. 

Green Upgrade Details

The redesign of this 12,000-square-foot former house of worship called for retaining most of its century-old materials. Pine beams arching over the bar were cleaned and polished. The original stained glass windows and skylight were dusted off to allow maximum light to filter in from outside. Sound-absorbing fabric half-walls were added to the spacious, sparkling interior.

 

Preservation went hand-in-hand with efficiency. More than 150 historic brass chandeliers and other light fixtures were rewired and outfitted with LED bulbs. Water-saving faucets and toilets were installed, along with a high-efficiency HVAC system.

In the true spirit of recycling, Obed & Isaac’s donates spent grain from the brewery to Peoria-area farmers for livestock feed, and to a nonprofit which turns the grain into handmade dog biscuits, which are sold at the restaurant.

Major Players

  • Conn’s Hospitality Group

  • O’Shea Builders