Nov 14, 2023 - Business

Metropolitan Brewery is closing in December

beer mug

A cold brew on the riverside patio of Metropolitan Brewing at Rockwell on the River in Avondale. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios.

The owners of Metropolitan Brewing in Avondale are calling it quits next month, citing an unresolvable dispute with their landlord.

Why it matters: The 15-year-old Chicago brewery and taproom, known for its Flywheel Pilsner, offers one of the best spots in the city to meet up for drinks and food on the river.

Driving the news: The last day Metropolitan's taproom will be open is Dec. 17, owners Doug and Tracy Hurst wrote on social media Tuesday.

  • "We have no current plans to rebuild or revive Metropolitan Brewing in a different location, so if you like our beer — come load up," they said.

Context: The Hursts opened the brewery 2008 in Ravenswood and moved to the Rockwell on the River location in 2017.

  • In recent months, they have been public about their heavy debt, weak retail sales and especially a yearslong rent dispute with their landlord Rockwell Properties, the Tribune reported.
  • To protest what they felt were unfair overcharges, the Hursts withheld rent payments to their landlord, starting in 2019.
  • In response, the landlord filed a 2020 eviction complaint, after which Metropolitan countersued. Earlier this year, a Cook County judge dismissed their suit, according to the Tribune.

The latest: Last month the couple wrote on Facebook that they'd filed for "reorganization" bankruptcy meant to "help us right our ship."

  • But by Tuesday, the Hursts updated their social media to say "we've been unable to resolve our differences with our landlord, and are left with no choice but to close our business."

Zoom out: The announcement comes in the wake of several local brewery closures last year after a decade of mostly growth, per the Tribune.

Thought bubble: I'm not sure which part of Metropolitan I'll miss most — the delicious brews, dog-friendly policies and family quiz nights or the easy parking, expansive patio and soothing river views.


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