The brewpub with the postcard view of downtown Raleigh has closed again after just six months in business.
The Boylan Bridge Brewpub will close, effective Nov. 20, with plans to reopen in mid-January. Owner Andrew Leager called the break a reboot aimed at tweaking the restaurant’s menu and serving policies.
“We’ve seen a drop in revenue, and it’s gotten to the point where it’s less expensive to close than to stay open,” Leager said. “With that in mind, we won’t be closed forever, it’s just a reboot. We’ll open again when the weather turns.”
The brewery and restaurant reopened Memorial Day weekend after a collapsed basement wall forced it to close for 15 months for repairs. Leager said his restaurant was mobbed in the first month back, but that business slowly dwindled month to month. Before the wall collapse, he said things were steady and profitable.
“We had a terrific month when we first opened, then it slowly dropped off,” Leager said. “I’m not exactly sure why, the people who didn’t come didn’t tell me why they weren’t coming... We were the first brewpub in Raleigh, but since then a lot of choices have opened up and people made their choice when we were closed.”
We’ll be introspective about it for a couple months during the reboot and give us a chance to put a bed of lettuce under that view salad.
Leager said the menu will be tightened up somewhat, with new descriptions of the food added when service returns. There will be new signage, and Leager will bring back brewery tours of where the beer is made, as well as the new barrel making operation. Beer, he said, will continue to be a major part of Boylan. Sometime late next year he’ll start Hargett Hill distillery, making vodka, rum, gin and single malt whiskey.
“We’ll be able to use the brewery more and offer more than just an explanation of how the beer is made,” Leager said. “I think we’ve always made some of the best beer in the city.”
While bars and restaurants in downtown Raleigh can count on foot traffic, Leager said Boylan has become isolated at the top of Hargett Street and that construction on mixed-use development The Dillon and around the Warehouse District has made getting to and parking near Boylan more difficult.
“It’s put a cork in people’s ability to get here from the downtown area,” Leager said. “People tell me all the time, ‘This is the place I bring my friends when they come to town to visit. This is the greatest view in town.’ But the revenue has been off. We’ll be introspective about it for a couple months during the reboot and give us a chance to put a bed of lettuce under that view salad.”
A number of private holiday parties at Boylan will still go on, Leager said, and the restaurant is still taking bookings for others. Leager said when the brewpub reopens next year, everyone will know about it.
“I’m still finding people who don’t know we’re open,” he said. “This time we’ll have a big grand opening.”
Drew Jackson; 919-829-4707; @jdrewjackson