Surly Brewing announced Wednesday that it plans to close its Minneapolis beer hall indefinitely on Nov. 2.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, Surly has had to adapt, change, pivot, and change again, all in the hope of pushing the two sides of the business – the brewery and the beer hall – through this unprecedented situation and the economic disaster that’s followed,” the company said in a statement released Wednesday.
“The beer hall had to make the most significant changes to adapt to a crumbling restaurant industry and the demands of city, state and federal COVID-19 health and safety regulations. 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,” the statement continued.
Revenues from the beer hall are down 82% compared with the same period last year and the company estimates that it would lose another $750,000 this winter if the beer hall remained open.
The announcement of the closure comes just a day after Surly employees announced their intent to unionize, but management said the plans to close the beer hall “were put in place weeks ago.”
“The timing of this announcement is not ideal. On Monday, some hospitality employees notified us of their intent to unionize. We respect their decision to turn to an outside organization for representation and will continue the dialogue,” said the statement.
The Butcher & the Boar, another well-known Minneapolis establishment, announced Tuesday that it would be closing permanently.
According to Mpls. St. Paul Magazine, more than 50 restaurants in the Twin Cities metro area, some with multiple locations, have closed since the beginning of the pandemic.