CLEVELAND — Only true Clevelanders will sit outside in the cold rain for a beer.
Mike Shanabruch just finished lunch at the Great Lakes Brewing Company when he heard they would be closing down temporarily.
"I'm kind of disappointed because it was kind of a good go-to place when you have a 40-degree day when you want to have lunch or have a drink," he said standing outside the Ohio City staple, leftovers in hand. "You know, it's a good place. It's one of the few places where you can eat or drink outside."
Great Lakes Brewing announced Wednesday that it will be temporarily closing its brewpub for winter.
“As we continue to navigate the current health crisis, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close the brewpub for the winter season beginning Jan. 1,” the company said.
The gift shop, which sells cans, bottles, kegs and merchandise, will remain open starting on Jan. 2. Hours are Monday – Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
"It says it's been tough, and it's been getting tougher," Shanabruch said about seeing so many dark dining rooms in the entertainment area.
2020 has been a tough year full of tough decisions for owners. When News 5 reached out to the Great Lakes Brewing Company for more information about the catalyst for the decisions, a spokesperson directed us back to the public statement. But it's not the first brewpub to close for a while in Ohio City.
"So, we had, like, the awful job of having to get our team together and saying like 'Hey guys. At 9 tonight, we're done,'" said Sam McNulty about the first time bars closed abruptly almost 10 months ago.
McNulty co-owns several big-name spots on W. 25th including Nano Brew and Market Garden.
"We opened back up in July. We had a great summer," he said.
But the sunshine was short-lived. Doors at McNulty's places closed again. The major player was the statewide 10 p.m. curfew imposed by Governor Mike DeWine. At the press conference on Wednesday, DeWine announced an extension of the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. It is now expected to end on Jan. 23rd, 2021.
"So at that point we just realized, you know, until the COVID cloud has passed and until the coast is a little clearer, it just makes more sense to shut back down," he said.
McNulty and his ownership group employs around 200 people. They had to furlough nearly 85% of them earlier this year. But, like a true Clevelander, McNulty is willing to weather the storm for something good at the end.
"I'm still very bullish on Ohio City," he said. "Historically speaking, this is a little blip in time. And the minute we are able to get back to being social and being approximately close to people, we're going to jump right back to it."
Great Lakes Brewing said the last day to order delivery or takeout or to dine in will be New Year's Eve. The brewpub will be open from noon to 10 p.m. that day. CLICK HERE for reservations or delivery.
“When we reopen will depend on a number of factors, but the safety of our employee-owners and guests remains paramount. We’d like to thank everyone that has supported us during this challenging year, and hope you’ll continue to do so by visiting us at the gift shop,” Great Lakes Brewing representatives said. “We cannot wait to serve you again when warmer weather and brighter days return to Cleveland. We’ve got a lot of exciting new releases planned for 2021, so keep your head up, your mask on, and remember to keep your hands (and beer glass!) clean.”
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