A downtown Klamath Falls staple that has been serving up local beer on Main Street for nearly two decades will close up shop later this month.
The "last day of operations" for the Klamath Basin Brewing Company's restaurant and bar will be Sunday, Nov. 28, the brewpub said in a well-shared Facebook post on Thursday.
The bar and restaurant's closure is attributable to many of the same pandemic-related economic headwinds that have sunk many a business nationwide.
"Business has just been really slow," said Matt Wendt, who is a member of the brewery's board of directors. "It started in the summer and it's just kind of gotten progressively worse. There's a lot of economic issues that are difficult to deal with right now. Just staffing and price increases on everything, and just availability of things."
Kitchen supply issues have made it hard to keep the menu consistent, Wendt said, and ultimately the restaurant decided it was time for a change.
"We kind of suffered through the pandemic and hung on as long as we could, but, you know, things have changed significantly," he said.
The brewery will certainly close for the winter. From there Wendt said the plan is to either seek a new operator who can "take over and reinvigorate the space" or come up with their own internal plan to revamp and reopen in hopefully less harsh economic conditions where hiring isn't as tough and supply chain disruptions are alleviated.
Starting next week, the brewery will offer deals on cases of beer and kegs, the Facebook post said. Fans of the brewery can also stop in between noon and 4 p.m. throughout December to potentially take advantage of the last drops.
According to Wendt, that may not be the last locals will see of the beer.
"Our plan is to continue as long as it makes sense for us to do that," Wendt said. "We've been looking for a head brewer and haven't been able to hire for that position. So it'll kind of be dependent upon whether we're able to bring someone in to take on the brewing responsibilities for a longer term period."
In 2001, Lonnie Clement and Del Azevedo — friends who worked for Pacific Power — began distributing the beer they brewed in Clement's garage to local restaurants and bars.
Not long later they moved into and renovated the old Crater Lake Creamery building, which was built in 1935 but had been vacant since the mid-1990s. They transformed the space into a 7,500-square-foot restaurant and brewery where the company has crafted beers unique to the region, like the Klamath Basin Blonde and the Crater Lake Amber.