Little Apple Brewing Company on Sunday announced it would be closing indefinitely amid struggles to keep up with restrictions on hospitality and restaurant businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Owners Russ and Kelly Loub said in a Facebook post that they may return to full operation after the crisis had passed.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday implemented a statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. It will last at least until April 19.
The order says businesses that perform essential functions can still operate under the order, but many hospitality businesses and restaurants have had to close.
On March 18, the restaurant said its sales volume had reduced by nearly 75% after previous social distancing orders. It had recently laid off 40 workers and switched to takeout, delivery and curbside pickup, but Russ noted in a previous post that this is an unsustainable model in the long term as many industry businesses have dwindling cash reserves and piling bills.
“Truly, it is the only responsible choice to make given the myriad of circumstances and concerns that weight our hearts,” Russ and Kelly said. “The safety, health and well-being of our extended family was the foremost factor in our decisive action today. Those same considerations will continue to drive our decision making in the future.
“We are not afraid, we are resolved,” they continued. “Believe me, there have been plenty of tears shed, we have swallowed the bitter pill and now look to the future. While we have ceased operations, our commitment to assist our employees in any way possible will continue.”
The couple set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for an employee relief fund and help provide money to cover its displaced employees’ rent, food and living expenses. According to the fundraiser, it has received more than $11,000 in donations as of Tuesday.
The owners said if they are able to survive the crisis and return to full operations, they would guarantee employment to those who had been affected.
Updates and developments will be posted on the Little Apple Brewing Company’s Facebook page.