- Associated Press - Monday, February 16, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Lincoln brewery owner wants to reopen Robber’s Cave and use its dubious reputation as a hideout for Old West desperadoes to help him sell some beer.

Brian Podwinski, who owns Blue Blood Brewing, said he has a deal to buy the property and construct a building above ground to house his brewery and an expanded taproom and restaurant. He plans to use the cave as storage for a line of barrel-aged beers.

“We’ll use the cave for whatever we reasonably can,” Podwinski said. The property sits a few miles south of the capitol.

According to historical accounts, early settlers used the cave to hide from Native American warriors. Local lore has it that outlaw Jesse James used the cave to evade lawmen, but local historian Jim McKee told the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1vPhUZG ) that there’s no evidence of that.

In 1869 Lincoln Brewery enlarged the cave and stored barrels of beer and beer ingredients there. The cave and the land above has changed hands over the years and is now owned by developer Tom White, who closed the cave in 2000 because of concerns about safety and trespassing.

Podwinski said he was drawn to the site because of its history. The Jesse James tale - true or not - is a perfect marketing peg for Blue Blood’s Outlaw line of beers, Podwinski said.

He’s applied to the city to use tax-increment financing to help defray some of the expected $1.5 million in project costs. Tax-increment financing uses the increased property taxes generated by developments to pay off bonds issued to pay for improvements that benefit the public.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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