WEST FARGO — Flatland Brewery is calling it quits, another victim of the weekslong COVID-19 business closure and restrictions since.
In a Facebook message posted Tuesday morning, July 14, the owners of the West Fargo craft brewery and taproom said the last day will be Aug. 2.
“It is with great sadness that we are sharing our upcoming closure. We personally want to thank each of you for your support and patronage over the past four years. Our dream to provide unique and tasteful beers has come to an end as a result of the ongoing COVID 19 measures and the hardship it has caused to our business,” the post said.
The brewery at 3140 Bluestem Drive first opened in July 2016.
Chris Markwardt and four others make up the current ownership group. One of the original owners left the partnership about a year ago, he said.
Markwardt said Flatland didn’t have many options during the business closure meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus that can cause COVID-19, nor during the gradual loosening of restrictions on customer serving capacity that followed.
“It was a COVID-19 thing. The reduction of sales during the closure and after the closure. We didn’t have a large distribution network to fall back on. We are primarily reliant on taproom sales and they just aren’t there now,” Markwardt told The Forum. “Right now, we’re just focused on getting it closed. We may look at other opportunities in the future."
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At one point, there was optimism that the brewery would be sold and moved.
“We are moving! Stay tuned to our social media for more information!” read a June 12 Facebook post.
However, that deal has not yet gone beyond the talking stage, Markwardt said.
“There’s people talking to me about a possible purchase. It isn’t done until you have a check. I hope that it (a deal) goes through,” he said.
Several customers commenting on Facebook about the announcement were saddened by the news.
“I feared this was coming since I have stopped a few times and you have not been open,” Nikki Losee wrote. “Thank you for your amazing service and hard work as well as delicious one-of-a-kind brews. I wish you the very best.”
“This just breaks my heart,” James Current wrote. “I'll have to make one more trek there from my central MN home.”
“Very sorry to hear that,” Claudia Voorhees wrote. “I hate seeing the small businesses close.”
Flatland’s owners thanked customers for their support in their Facebook message, and urged them to come in and drink up their remaining beer.
“Serving you has been our greatest pleasure and we will miss being a part of the West Fargo/Fargo community. We continue to support our community and those who work and live here,” the post said.