Magic City Brewing Co. is looking to open a new location outside the Magic City.
Jay Graham, the outspoken founder and brewer, said he's exploring the Green and Portage Lakes area, adding that he's ready to split from Barberton, which is nicknamed the "Magic City," because he's upset with city leaders.
"They can go f*** themselves," he said Friday.
He said the nanobrewery and taproom didn't receive enough support from the city government when it first opened or when he started looking to expand. He said he was once told that he wouldn't be able to open in the community and that his brewery wouldn't be a success.
The city also hasn't helped enough to find a suitable location in Barberton, he said.
But Ignite Brewing Co., which is located nearby in Barberton, has received help from the city administration, Graham said.
Mayor Bill Judge disputed Graham's complaints, saying the city tried to help Magic City and showed the brewery potential buildings so it could expand in town. He added that Graham approached city officials when he first opened but he didn't have a business plan and wanted financial help without going through the process.
"Jay has an attitude that he should get special treatment," Judge said, adding that he wants to help grow businesses in the city "whether me and the owner get along or not."
He said he wasn't surprised by Graham's comments, saying he has been called names in social media posts before.
"What am I going to do?" the mayor said. "It's unprofessional. It's childish. It's sad. ... Good luck to them."
Magic City opened in 2017 in a storefront on Second Street Northwest and has built up a loyal following for its bold and flavorful beers ranging from stouts to hazy IPAs to goses.
Graham wants to expand with a bigger brewing system, but Magic City's current home is small and can't accommodate larger equipment. He now brews on a three-barrel system.
He said he has financing lined up for a 10-barrel system and other equipment, and he's now just trying to find the right location.
He looked at Canal Place in downtown Akron, but that likely won't work out, he said. Canal Place is home to the new Missing Falls Brewery and the future R. Shea Brewing production site and restaurant.
"We have some irons in the fire in the Green/Portage Lakes area," he said.
He would like to have the new site set by the spring.
It's unclear what would become of the current Magic City site. Graham declined to talk publicly about its future.