As construction for the Kings’ new arena continues to change the landscape of downtown, one of Downtown Plaza’s long-time businesses is being forced to leave the mall today.
Property owners are not renewing the leases of most of the businesses at this mall in order to make room for the new arena.
So just moments ago, at 5 p.m., River City Brewing Company shut its doors for good at this location.
But there were plenty of people at the restaurant enjoying their one final drink. Some of the last beers are being poured at the bar as regulars get ready for that final toast at a place that’s been a fixture in downtown for two decades.
“I had my 50th birthday, Cindy’s 50th birthday, my daughter’s first drink when she turned 21, here,” said “Big Bill”, a regular.
For co-owner Steve Cuneo, it’s an emotional day.
“At five today we close the doors and start dismantling the brewery,” he said.
As he walks through, he’s greeted by former employees.
“I used to work here and I just love everyone so much so I had to say goodbye,” said Noelle Deeter, a former employee.
“I’m going to miss this place though and everybody here. Wishing the best for everyone,” said Jesse, an employee.
The brewery will open at its new location in Carmichael in September. But owners say expect to see them back in this area in the near future.
“As far as I can remember we are the oldest locally owned business on this part of town, so it’s going to be yeah…It’s going to be sad for us but sad for our customers as well,” said Cuneo. “Someday we’ll be back in downtown in some form.”
JMA Ventures, which manages the property, says Macy’s, the theater, and the 24 Hour Fitness are the only businesses staying at the mall.
The reason River City Brewing Company is closing two weeks before the lease is up is because they have so much equipment to dismantle and haul out.