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 Why downtown Lake Worth was ‘perfect’ for new home beer supply shop

There’s something brewing in downtown Lake Worth.

And its name is Bx Beer Depot, a home brew supply store and brewpub that moved into the neighborhood Saturday.

“Lake Worth is just perfect,” said owner Kem Smith-Meyers of the shop’s new digs on South J Street, right next door to the famed Bamboo Room. “So many people walk in downtown and people say Lake Worth is going to be the next Delray Beach, so I’m excited.”

Smith-Meyers, who owns Bx Beer Depot with her husband, Ben Meyers, bought the business in March from Sally Parsons, who was ready for the next chapter in her life. Smith-Meyers declined to say how much the couple paid for the company, in business for 50 years in South Florida.

One of the first moves Smith-Meyers wanted to make was finding a new location. Bx Beer Depot had been on Congress Avenue in Palm Springs where Smith-Meyers said no one could find it.

“That location was terrible,” she said. “This business needs foot traffic and that area didn’t have it.”

Because the 1,784-square-foot Lake Worth location offers 500 additional square feet, the new owners expanded the bar so Bx Beer Depot could offer a wider variety of craft and draft beers.

Beer and wine-making products — fresh grain, brewing spices, keg parts — are more prominently displayed since the space is larger.

“Before a lot of stuff was in the cooler,” Smith-Meyers said. “I want people to see what they’re buying.”

The couple are also planning brew and wine-making classes. An online store is in the works.

While Smith-Meyers runs the day-to-day operations, Ben, who works in property management at Trump Plaza, handles marketing with Smith-Meyers’ daughter, Katie Gonzalez.

“I’m pretty much the top dog,” Smith-Meyers said, laughing.

It was her idea to buy the Bx Beer Depot after the automotive services company she worked for was about to relocate. Smith-Meyers didn’t want to move, saying she would simply retire after 20 years in the corporate rat race.

But when Smith-Meyers heard Bx Beer Depot was up for sale, she convinced her husband to act quickly.

“I love beer, I have a business background and Ben has experience with home brewing, so it was perfect fit for us,” she said. “I left the company I was working for on March 25 and we bought this business on March 26. I was serious.”

Another reason why Smith-Meyers wanted to move to Lake Worth was she wanted to be actively involved in the community. She’s planning holiday events, block parties and fitness classes (Smith-Meyers is a certified Zumba instructor).

She’s already approached Poutine Dog Cafe, which is next door, about a partnership for food pairing and events.

Mike Olive, manager of The Bamboo Room, said it’s nice to have new neighbors. “We’re already looking at ways we can work together in the future,” he said.

Smith-Meyers wants to make South J Street a destination location.

“Local business owners are going to make this street a happening place to be,” she said.

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