Surly Brewing Co. announced it will temporarily close its beer hall after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.
“The hits just keep on coming,” the company said in a Facebook post on Sunday. The post said that the guests and staff who came in close contact with the infected employee have been notified.
The 350-seat beer hall hopes to reopen on Oct. 13.
The closure may interfere with the union election that is underway, the post said, but management is “working with union representatives to ensure the election can be completed safely as soon as possible.”
In August, workers at the popular brewery’s beer hall and pizzeria informed management they wanted to unionize to address pay issues and safety concerns.
Days later, Surly owner Omar Ansari announced he would close the beer hall “indefinitely” in early November due to a steep decline in revenue since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. He said about 150 people would lose their jobs. At that time, Ansari said Surly’s on-site food and beer sales were down 82% over last year, and the business failed to make a profit in July.
Last month, Surly reached an agreement with staff to hold a vote on whether the group will form a union.
The closure due to the employee’s illness reflects the ongoing challenges restaurants, bars and other public gathering places are facing in Minnesota amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some restaurants have announced temporary closures due to COVID-19 cases to allow for deep cleaning.
With winter approaching and indoor capacity restricted, some are shutting their doors until spring.
Lord Fletcher’s, the longtime Lake Minnetonka steakhouse and waterside hangout, has closed after three COVID-19 positive cases among its staff.
It’s one of dozens of bars and restaurants named by the Minnesota Department of Health in recent weeks as having been tied to a COVID-19 outbreak; 38 cases were potentially linked to the establishment.
During Surly’s closure, it will continue to brew and package beer.
“We’re continuing to roll with the challenges of each day,” its post said. “We know you’re all going through this too. Thank you for your continued support as we navigate the uncertainty and keep our people safe.”