Front Page Brewing grand opening

Johnnie Levin, co-founder and co-owner of Front Page Brewing Co. in downtown Bartow, hands a pair of beverages to a customer March 14. Her husband Bill Levin, the brewery's other co-founder and co-owner, stands behind her to the right.

BARTOW — A robust crowd of Bartow area residents were in attendance March 14 for the grand opening of the town’s new brewery — Front Page Brewing Co.

The brewery, located in the building which formerly housed the Polk News-Sun newspaper (then known as the Polk County Democrat), is owned by Johnnie and Bill Levin, pictured above.

The team at Front Page Brewing celebrated its grand opening with live music, commemorative t-shirts, a food truck and other activities.

Unfortunately, the high of opening was followed by having to close due to the spread of novel coronavirus. First, the Front Page team chose to close for 15 days, announcing as much on their Facebook page.

“At this time, we have made the difficult decision to close for at least the next 15 days, as per the CDC guidelines,” read the post. “After such a successful and long-awaited grand opening, and the overwhelming support we have received, we do not take this step lightly.”

That was compounded by an announcement from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that ordered all bars closed for 30 days.

Despite, the team for Front Page has communicated optimism and appreciation for what was, nevertheless, a successful opening weekend.

“We are still humbled by the wonderful response we've received,” read post to Facebook. “Please stay safe and healthy and we look forward to seeing you back in very soon!”

To follow along with the new brewery in downtown Bartow, follow it on Facebook at facebook.com/frontpagebrewing/.

Contact Steven Ryzewski at sryzewski@d-r.media.