Surly Brewing Co. has announced it has made “the gut-wrenching decision” to close its Beer Hall in exactly two months for an indefinite amount of time.
In a post on its website, the Minneapolis-based brewery cites a number of reasons for the closure, including “a crumbling restaurant industry” and “the demands of city, state and federal COVID-19 health and safety regulations.” According to Surly, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the revenues at a the restaurant, bar and event center are down 82 percent compared to the same period last year.
We ran all the numbers,” reads the post on Surly’s website. “We looked at all the possibilities. But try as we might to find a way to keep the doors open and our team employed, the writing was on the wall: There was no longer a way forward for the Beer Hall. As we complied fully with the safety measures, it became clear that beer halls are by definition gathering places and gathering places and pandemics don’t mix.”
In addition, Surly estimates that if the 350-seat Beer Hall remained open, the brewery would lose “at least another three quarters of a million dollars” this winter.
In March, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz passed an executive order that required bars, breweries, coffee shops, gyms and restaurants to close to dine-in guests in an attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19. That was changed with a “phased plan” that allowed the aforementioned businesses to reopen on June 1, but capacity limitations and health guidelines continued to negatively impact business.