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Brewery closing after nearly 27 years: ‘This place was like ‘Cheers’ for us’

Updated April 29, 2023 - 2:39 pm

The Gordon Biersch Brewery is expected to close its doors this weekend.

Its parent company, SPB Hospitality, confirmed Friday that the brewery at the Howard Hughes Center will close at 10 p.m. Sunday.

“We continually review our restaurant portfolio performance,” Ryan Russell, SPB Hospitality’s director of communications, said in an emailed statement. “This closure is a strategic decision based solely on business demands. We appreciate the support of our valued guests and employees over these many years.”

Andy Wolf, a bartender who worked at the brewery since it opened in 1997, said the closure was disappointing.

“We’re all very sad,” Wolf said. “This place was like ‘Cheers’ for us. We’ve had a lot of regulars that have become more than customers.”

The brewery is not the first tenant to bid farewell to the Hughes Center office park. Other companies such as Colliers International and Newmark announced this year that it would be relocating from the center to another office complex in the Las Vegas Valley.

The restaurant’s closure also comes after New York investment firm Blackstone recently said it had stopped making payments on its $325 million loan for the Hughes Center office park.

Richard Lovelady, founder of Henderson’s Lovelady Brewing Co., said he was “sad but not surprised” when he heard that Gordon Biersch would be closing. He served as head brewer at the location for 19 years before launching his namesake company in 2016.

“When we first opened, Las Vegas was a completely different place back then,” Lovelady said. “They didn’t have night clubs on the Strip. So when Gordon Biersch first opened, that was pretty much the place to be for the young and upcoming, and people with cash to come and party. I can remember going through 30 to 50 kegs of beer on a Friday night.”

“But as Vegas changed that dynamic sort of changed. It was always fairly busy. But the main draw kind of shifted to conventions,” he said.

As more breweries came to the Las Vegas market and new ones opened up, visitor traffic at Gordon Biersch started to slow down, according to Lovelady.

He said the one thing he’ll miss the most will be the garlic fries, but he plans to stop by one more time this weekend to see his old coworkers and, of course, order the fries.

With the closure of the Las Vegas location, Gordon Biersch will have five locations in the U.S.

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on Twitter.

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