The Sparks family is expanding its investment in downtown Decatur with the purchase of Decatur’s only microbrewery, Cross-Eyed Owl Brewing Co.
Henry “Trey” Atwood, the brewery's founder, said Thursday that he is finalizing the sale of the business at the corner of East Moulton Street and First Avenue Northeast to David Sparks of Sparks Energy, of Danville.
Atwood, who owns the brewery with his wife Erin, said the sale is expected to close today.
The Atwoods opened the microbrewery in 2018. It struggled financially during the coronavirus pandemic, and he announced a planned closure in October 2020. However, someone stepped up to provide funding to keep the business open in late October.
Trey Atwood said he doesn’t have the money to continue operations so he’s selling to Sparks, who could not be reached for comment.
David Sparks and his wife, Megan Sparks, also own Absaroka western wear store and Ottis & Kate boutique on Second Avenue Southeast and the building where Waggin’ Tails is on Johnston Street.
Crystal Brown, president and chief executive officer of the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, said she is “forever grateful” that the Atwoods invested in the business “that’s so important to downtown.”
Brown said the microbrewery is an important quality-of-life feature and is a big part of downtown’s revitalization that has included openings of the Cook Museum of National Science and a number of retail businesses and restaurants.
She said she believes the Sparks family recognizes this rebirth with their investments, and downtown's momentum will continue with a Fairfield by Marriott hotel and the Alabama Center for the Arts dorm planned near the microbrewery.