Mini-Cisco Brewery Slated For Brotherhood Patio

Cisco Brewers will be spreading its vibes to downtown Nantucket with a “nano-brewery” slated for the patio area of the Brotherhood of Thieves restaurant.

Jay Harman, the CEO of Cisco Brewers, is also part of the investment group that purchased the Brotherhood for $7.9 million in late June. Harman said yesterday that the plan is to “keep the roots” of the Brotherhood intact as a whaling bar with burgers and curly fries, while bringing the Cisco presence to the outdoor space on Broad Street next to Nantucket Bookworks.

“Cisco Brewers Nantucket hopes to operate the outdoor space at 23 Broad Street to offer a miniature version of the vibe that Cisco customers have grown to love out at the farm,” Harman said. “We will work with the town to develop an experience that includes a home for Notch – Nantucket Island single malt whisky – and a downtown home for Whales Tale Pale Ale. Great food and drink in a space that is historic and exciting for family, friends and hopefully a fun outdoor place to catch a buzz with your dog.”

Harman, along with lead investor Henry Helgeson, have tapped Steve Silverstein to run the indoor space at the Brotherhood. Silverstein is the founder of the Not Your Average Joe’s restaurants and is also partnering with Harman on the new Cisco Brewers Kitchen Bar in New Bedford. The partners and Silverstein hope to have downstairs section of the Brotherhood open by Christmas Stroll in December.

“We are working through the details and excited to build a venue that will showcase a small nano brewery, winery and distillery which will truly represent our brands and Nantucket and continue to be an icon for all those who visit our special island and for those who call Nantucket home,” Harman said.

Helgeson founded the credit card processing company Merchant Warehouse, which became the payment tech and merchant services giant Cayan. He recently purchased the Polpis property known as Swain’s Neck. 

The Brotherhood building and restaurant had been owned by the Krause family since 1972 up until the sale in June. The family also owns the trademark for the famous Brotherhood logo, which is a nod to island abolitionists and their bid to integrate Nantucket schools in the 1840s.

The preference, Helgeson said in June, would be to keep the brand for at least part of the property as the Brotherhood, but the discussion over the trademark remains ongoing.

Back in February 2021, the restaurant was shuttered after the four partners who had operated The Brotherhood since 2004 – Ted Burnham, EJ Harvey, Edward Sanford and Larry Whelden – were unable to come to terms on a new lease with the Krause family. The Brotherhood sign came down off the door, and the restaurant announced a “fire sale” of all its equipment and other items.

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