One popular beer and brats destination is packing it up. After 14 years, the German pub Feierabend will close after service December 23, owner Chris Navarra tells Eater Seattle. And the decision will likely be permanent. “We’re pretty much closed for good unless something miraculous happens,” he says. “Our lease is ending in April and our landlords have not been very helpful during these shutdowns.”
Feierabend was one of the earlier happy hour pioneers in Amazon territory when it opened in 2006, soon to be joined by many other bars and brewpubs in the vicinity hoping to take advantage of the rapid development downtown. On the menu was a meat-heavy mix of currywurst, schnitzels, and sausages, to go along with a strong selection of malty German beers. During the pandemic, it tried to shift to takeout, with kits that included giant pretzel with obatzda, growlers, Jagermeister mini bottles, and other treats.
But, as has been the case for many places relying on the business of tech employees who are now mostly working from home, the to-go business hasn’t been enough. And though Washington state and Seattle have grants programs in effect to help some small businesses most impacted by the COVID restrictions, unless there’s major federal relief on the way, even more restaurants will be closing in the coming weeks and months.
Navarra has a small chain of other German pubs in the Pacific Northwest, including Prost, with locations in Phinney Ridge, West Seattle, Portland, and Boise. He’s also a co-owner of the newly-revived sandwich spot Martino’s, which is planning to open soon. By closing Feierabend, Navarra hopes the remaining gastropubs in the network will have a better chance of making it through the pandemic. In the meantime, he’s bidding a fond farewell to South Lake Union, opening up this Saturday, next Tuesday and Wednesday for last call.
“We have fought hard this year and wanted to see the other side of this, but reality sometimes defeats the loftiest efforts,” he says. “We hope that Feierabend will make a comeback, but will wait for a brighter and safer day to pursue it.”