Smuggler’s Brew Pub closes, cites mall lease
The owners of Smuggler’s Brew Pub unexpectedly closed the restaurant at 2412 U.S. Highway 6&50 Tuesday morning, citing the price of rent as the reason.
“Basically we couldn’t get the rent lowered from Mesa Mall,” said Amanda Larson, general manager of the restaurant. Larson said the rent on the building was near $15,000 per month.
Larson said she doubted the restaurant would reopen, which will leave 15 employees laid off.
Those employees were instructed to remove their personal items from the restaurant immediately, which they did while turning customers away during what should have been the lunch rush.
The restaurant is owned by Mike Metz and Joe Chesterson. Neither was at the restaurant or available for comment Tuesday.
Jammie McCloud, marketing manager for Mesa Mall, said the restaurant was closing but declined to comment further. She said the mall will look to fill the space in the near future.
The closing comes just after a grand reopening and ribbon cutting hosted in March by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.
The pub had celebrated a number of recent changes, including the addition of Chesterson as part-owner, remodeling, a revamped patio area and new menu items.