Growler Underground part of changing face of Springfield

SRPINGFIELD, Ore. - Downtown Springfield is changing.

"They've wanted to see downtown improve, and it took some time," said Niel Laudati with the City of Springfield. "Now they're starting to see, 'Wow, things are starting to change.'"

New streetlights will illuminate Main Street this summer, and new businesses are taking root.

This May, downtown Springfield's very first growler fill station is set to open to the public.

The Growler Underground is the David Platt's enterprise. Growlers are reusable glass containers that can be filled with beer, cider or other beverages.

"I was like, 'Well, there's all kinds of them in Eugene but there aren't any of them downtown Springfield," the 29-year-old said.

The business fits the mix of the new downtown Springfield.

"A growler place is really a multigenerational place where you might see lots of people," Laudati said.

Although Platt isn't a business major, he's taken all necessary steps to get the business brewing.

He said Springfield was the perfect choice for it.

"Part of the idea of a growler station is that it's sort of your neighborhood beer place, and that goes well with what Springfield is trying to do downtown," he said.

Last year Platt began talks with city officials about his idea. He said they couldn't have been more supportive.

"It's been great to work with the city," he said. "They've been helpful."

"It's an interesting time, an exciting time," Laudati said. "I think by the end of this summer with the new projects, it's really going to be awesome."

The entrepreneur Platt said the process of opening a business has been an eye-opener.

"A little nervous, a little scared, a lot of unknowns," he said. "I'm kind of feeling my way through it and finding new hurdles every day."