E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: USA, OR: Lucky Labrador Brewing closing struggling North Portland pub

Go back! News start menu!
[Top industry news] [Brewery news] [Malt news ] [Barley news] [Hops news] [More news] [All news] [Search news archive] [Publish your news] [News calendar] [News by countries]
E-Malt.com News article: USA, OR: Lucky Labrador Brewing closing struggling North Portland pub
Brewery news

The Lucky Labrador, one of Portland’s oldest brewpubs, on Friday, December 23 will close its North Portland pub, one of its four locations, Oregon Live reported.

Gary Geist, who opened the longtime Portland favorite more than a quarter century ago with partner Alex Stiles, said he made the decision to close the location after the struggles delivered by the COVID era.

“We’ve tried to make a go of it in the North Portland location, and we just can’t make it work,” Geist told The Oregonian this week. “We tried to keep people employed there and would have probably closed a while ago, but it’s just not working.”

Geist said the decision was forced because of significant increases in COVID-19 cases and other illnesses throughout Oregon in the past two weeks combined with the normal reduction in winter sales.

The Lucky Lab, or the Lab, as it’s known, will continue to operate its three other locations, including its original brewpub on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, a pub in Southwest Portland’s Multnomah Village and its Quimby Beer Hall in Northwest Portland’s Slabtown.

“Over COVID, (our) other places have been two steps forward and one step back,” he said. “We’re making a go of it and I think we’ll be OK over the long term, but just like everybody in the restaurant business, it’s pretty tough.”

Geist said the North Portland location, which opened in March of 2010 at 1700 N. Killingsworth St., suffered through a brutal 2020, when it was “open and closed like five different times, one because of forest fires and the others because of COVID.”

He acknowledged that the Lab is not alone in its struggles, as much of the brewpub industry has “just been absolutely hammered, and there’s been a ton of closings, mostly due to COVID,” he said.

The Lab has in recent years has benefited from private events to bring in critical revenue. Even that has decreased in recent months.

“Private event business is sort of coming back, but still there’s just a lot of people who are a little bit reluctant to schedule events or go out to big events, especially in the winter time, when the COVID numbers come up,” Geist said.

The brewhouse at the original location continues to produce regulars’ longtime favorite beers such as Quality Rye, the Super Dog IPA, Hawthorne’s Best Bitter and Black Lab Stout, among others that it keeps in a rotation that includes new beers as well.

The Lab is an increasingly rare connection to the city’s early brewpub history. The co-founders opened the original spot on Oct. 15, 1994, in the former home of a sheet metal and roofing company, and it quickly became a community gathering spot, with its dog theme attracting patrons and their pets to the big back patio.

The place proved to be such a hit that by 2000, Geist and Stiles expanded with the Multnomah Village Public House, a former masonic temple in Southwest Portland. In 2006, the next destination was in Northwest Portland, then in 2010 a Lucky Lab landed in North Portland.

Geist said the decision to close North Portland was extremely difficult.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever done this before, so it kind of hurts,” Geist said.

23 December, 2022

| Printer friendly |

Copyright © E-Malt s.a. 2001 - 2011