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The Bateman Draft House, located in the historic Bateman Hotel in downtown Lowville, opened in 2021 to serve our community. Serving up to 24 NYS craft draft beers, seltzers, and ciders, NYS wine, and locally sourced foods, The Bateman Draft House is a staple to Lewis County - only continuing to grow!

Owners: Meghann and Brandon Hellinger

Business Name: The Bateman Draft House

Year Established: 2021

Number of Employees: 3

About the Owners

Meghann and Brandon Hellinger moved to the village of Lowville in May 2019, a month before getting married in June. Both are established members of our community, with Meghann being a massage therapist and esthetician and Brandon being a residential carpenter they have been working around the county, and closely with local individuals.

Both are graduates of Lowville Academy, Meghann in ‘09 and Brandon in ‘06. Meghann has worked in several places around our county in bars and restaurants since she was 16. Brandon was born and raised here in Lowville, and has also shared in local food service experience. Meghann moved here at the young age of 4, due to her fathers military career, and Lowville has been home ever since. In 2018, they opened Drift Day Spa, located next door to The Bateman Draft House, in the historic Bateman Hotel lobby. It was here that they began their story with The Bateman.

Describe your start up story

"In October 2019, the space where The Draft House is located currently, came up for rent.

Our original intention was to open a tanning salon to attach to the salon. When we walked through the threshold and saw the back bar, with beautiful quarter sawn oak and carrara marble (which can also be found on the floors in the spa), encasing a mirror that is from the early 1900’s and an original fixture of the building, with the sprawling bar located in front of it, we knew what had to be done. We filed for a DBA shortly thereafter and The Bateman Draft House had come to fruition. Unfortunately, to ours and the world’s surprise, COVID-19 began to shut the world down. We held onto the space for over a year before deciding to finally pursue the next step in procuring our liquor license. Once we had our liquor license in hand, we began to design and move forward. In that time we were awarded a grant of nearly $7,000 from The Microenterprise Grant Program with help from Naturally Lewis. Finally, we began to outfit the bar. With Brandon as a residential carpenter, each piece in our establishment is made by his hand, which adds another level of admiration for space. We decided early on that we wanted to carry specifically NYS sourced craft draft beer. Another product we decided to focus on is handcrafted specialty cocktails. We have so far hired one bartender and currently work alongside him."

Why did you choose to do business in Lewis County? What are the advantages and/or opportunities of doing business here?

"We chose to do business in Lewis County because it is our home. We see the potential in Lowville and downtown area. There are many advantages to this area for business, but our favorite is the sense of community we feel in this county." 

What advice would you give to someone starting a business in Lewis County?

"Make sure you have a serious passion for what you do. Take as few loans as possible." 

What are some of the current projects you are working on and what are you looking forward to in 2022?

"In 2022, we are working on expansion of our high end liquors, events, and education. We are also taking a course offered by ECornell in brewing craft beer with hopes to potentially expand by brewing our own beer." 

Are there any local partnerships or organizations that have helped you along your business journey?

"Naturally Lewis was a great help in obtaining The Microenterprise Grant as well as setting up a website with Coughlin Printing. The Lewis County Chamber of Commerce has helped with advertising and promotion."