Cannery Row Brewing Company shut down abruptly on Sunday night. Messages on social media indicate that employees were notified by text message. On Monday morning, a sign reading “Closed for Maintenance” was posted on the restaurant’s door.
According to David Bernahl of Coastal Luxury Management, CRBC’s ownership group, the decision came after a series of events. He explains that their 10-year lease with the Cannery Row Company ended on Oct. 31, putting the establishment on a month to month basis. There are some looming repairs needed and an elevator that runs to the basement level where the restrooms are located needed immediate work to keep the place compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We can’t really afford to fix it right now,” he says.
Bernahl points out that they have not ruled out reopening the restaurant, which once claimed one of the largest selections of beer on tap in the area and has been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. They may sell the business or look for a new investment partner to bring necessary funding or change the concept.
“We’re taking a hard look at everything,” Bernahl explains. “We have a lot of options.”
The ownership group operates restaurants and dining events, including the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival. But they have run into financial issues in the past, shutting down Monterey’s Restaurant 1833 in 2017 owing close to $200,000 in property and business taxes, according to an April statement by Monterey County Tax Collector Mary Zeeb. That property remains on the market.
In April, Zeeb told the Weekly that Cannery Row Brewing Company had been delinquent in its business taxes in 2015, ’16, ’17 and ’18, to the tune of $115,000.
Still, reaction to the news on social media indicates the place had remained popular—or at least recalled fondly—with many people.
Bernahl observes that a restaurant becomes a family, especially as it gains longevity. But if it cannot sustain itself on the business side, then the owners must look at change.
“Maybe it was a perfect 10-year run,” he says.
The Weekly reached out to a known employee of the restaurant by messenger but had not received a response by deadline.