Due to the Governor’s extension of business restrictions, most notably the prohibition of dine-in restaurant business through the end of May, we sincerely and deeply regret to inform everyone that we will not be reopening our restaurant & brewpub location in downtown Champaign.
This decision was unimaginable just a short time ago before the pandemic, especially after all the hard work our entire team has done to build our great brand and business in Champaign for 9 years, but this decision, unfortunately, became clear and unavoidable after the Governor’s announcement last Thursday keeping restaurants closed at least through May with no phasing back in of restaurant businesses during that time or a clear plan or timeline to safely do so thereafter. It is, thus, simply not financially viable to remain closed for an indefinite amount of time and then reopen the downtown location at some uncertain date this summer, and likely with limited occupancy restrictions even then, given the very short duration remaining in our downtown lease and given the University of Illinois’ indefinite closure at least through summer and other related factors. We are so grateful for the Champaign community’s support, loyalty and patronage over the years and for our Champaign team’s incredibly hard work, talent and dedication throughout our time in downtown.
On a related note, the new location we planned to build this year at the Carle at the Fields development in Champaign is currently on hold. Prior to the pandemic crisis, we were potentially just a few weeks away from breaking ground, likely in June, with an opening planned for this fall. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, constructing a new building right now is just not prudent or even viable due to the current and uncertain future economic conditions and business environment in Illinois. However, we greatly look forward to reexamining our future development options for the exciting project at Carle at the Fields in Champaign and elsewhere once we see what economic conditions and opportunities might exist when all of this is over, stabilized and the dust is settled.
For now though, the production brewery continues to crank out a lot of beer for distribution in our package retail accounts both locally and throughout Illinois and across our 37-state footprint (plus Sweden), and we greatly appreciate your support of our beer during this time. We are also using this time for some exciting new product development to be announced soon, as well as brewing beer for our summer releases and even making wine for release at our Beer Hall when it reopens this summer. In addition, our original restaurant & brewpub location in Normal has received tremendous support of our curbside pickup & delivery service, and we sincerely thank our community for the same.
We look forward to the day when we can invite you through our doors again. Until then, stay well.