E-Malt.com News article: USA, CA: Bear Republic Brewing Co.’s Healdsburg brewpub slated to close next month
Bear Republic Brewing Co.’s flagship brewpub and restaurant in downtown Healdsburg is slated to close next month after nearly a quarter century, a move the family who own the Sonoma County brewery said they were driven to make because of the rising costs of doing business in a tourist-destination city during a business slowdown, the North Bay Business Journal reported on October 21.
Bear Republic will continue running its Rohnert Park brewpub and Cloverdale production facility. Founded by a father-and-son team in 1995, the brewing company makes the strong, signature Racer 5 India pale ale and is considered among Sonoma County’s pioneering craft beer makers.
With the closure, Healdsburg will lose 36 jobs as well as a mainstay watering hole and family-friendly affordable restaurant, something many local residents say is increasingly scarce in a city that caters to a rarefied visitor clientele.
“There was no way we would like to leave — this is a home base,” Bear Republic founder Richard Norgrove Sr. said. “There are people who have come from all over the world to Bear Republic. Some of our employees have been here 16, 17 years.”
Norgrove Sr. said his family reluctantly chose to close the pub because the building needed significant upgrades and the rent was going up. The Healdsburg brewpub’s last day of business is scheduled for Nov. 22.
The closure comes about two years after the Norgroves opened their Rohnert Park brewpub, a $2.5 million project designed as a destination brewery with indoor and outdoor dining, a games area and stage for musical performances. The brewery on-site features a 10-barrel system.
Healdsburg’s changing demographics is also a driving factor for the closure, said his daughter-in-law and co-owner Tami Norgrove. High school enrollment is down, the football team couldn’t find enough players and fewer people have been coming in to eat, she said.
“What you see in Rohnert Park is a lot of younger families that Healdsburg doesn’t have to offer right now,” said Tami Norgrove.
Tami Norgrove said the Healdsburg pub’s employees will be able to apply for positions in Rohnert Park or Cloverdale.
27 October, 2019