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Lefty's Grille expands, adds brewery in Blacksburg

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BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - Lefty's Grille is taking a right turn on Main street and moving a block away in Blacksburg.

"It just got to a point where we needed a bigger space," said owner Frank Perkovich.

The kitchen alone at the soon-to-be new location is bigger than the entire restaurant currently open at 1202 South Main that customers have come to love for the last 12 years.

Construction has been underway on the new location for months but there's more to build than a restaurant.

"We thought that we would start doing brewing as well," Perkovich said. "It's like making food. It's just a continuation of what we do."

Perkovich says brewing beer will be another element to make an already thriving business more fun.

"People care about food now, they care what they eat, what it taste like and what it looks like and they feel the same way about beer," he said.

In fact, the craft beer industry in Virginia exploded in the last few years. In January, the Commonwealth became home to more than 100 craft breweries, according to the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild.

Lefty's will become the second brewery in Blacksburg when it opens near Bull & Bones Brewhaus and Grille. It will be the third in the New River Valley. Radford is home to The River Company Restaurant & Brewery.

"We're going to celebrate great beers. We have 24 taps," Perkovich said.

He'll add craft beer to the menu while maintaining the quirky charm customers have come to expect.

"When I took down the acoustic tiles and I saw the original ceilings of the place, I thought OK this has some charm to it and some warmth and some quirkiness."

Lefty's will also welcome home brewers. It's license will allow guest brewers. Perkovich says he'll invite them in once a month to meet. Lefty's will judge the beer and give the winning brewer an opportunity to serve its beer..

"They'll brew a beer and have a the tap for the whole month."

Brew Master Evan Graham, a Virginia Tech alum, has been hired to craft beer. He most recently worked at Parkway Brewing in Roanoke.

The new, expanded Lefty's Grille will open in early November. It's located on South Main in the Gables Shopping Center.