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starnewsFreedman's Bakery to close its doors for good today

This article originally appeared on the Star News Group.

BELMAR — After more than 60 years in business, Freedman's Bakery on Main Street in the borough will close its doors for the last time today.

Freedman's Bakery opened in June 1950, according to Herb Freedman, owner and founder of Freedman's Bakery, and has served the local community ever since. At one time, there were numerous Freedman's Bakery retail outlets in Monmouth County that sold the company's baked goods, which were all made in Belmar.

"I'm very sad and on the other hand a little happy," Mr. Freedman said, noting he is 83 years old and ready to retire.

Over the past 63 years, Mr. Freedman said he has "good customers, nice people who have supported us" through ups and downs.

The closing of Freedman's Bakery paves the way for a new addition to the borough — a microbrewery.

Once renovated, the Freedman's Bakery building will be home to The East Coast Beer Company, which manufactures and distributes a line of craft brews under the Beach Haus label. East Coast Beer company is currently based in Point Pleasant Beach and brews its beer in Rochester, N.Y.

East Coast Beer Company currently does not own a brewery, but does contract brewing, which means the beer company rents brewery time and equipment.

In order to bring the brewing process to the Jersey Shore, and to own their own brewery, East Coast Beer Company looked at several locations along the shore before finally selecting Belmar.

Freedman's Bakery and MB1 Capital Partners have not closed on the property yet, but are expected to do so soon. MB1 is a real estate investment company, based in Wall, that will be purchasing the bakery site, located on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Main Street, and leasing it to the beer company.

The building is not only home to the bakery, but also to a barber shop and furniture painting store, both of which will be vacated.

According to John Merklin, co-owner of the beer company, the closing date for the property is Feb. 5.

"We're super excited and anxious," he said.

Mr. Merklin said they hope to have the microbrewery up and running mid- to late-summer 2014.