After 21 years of serving Uptown, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery announced its closing on Monday. A sign on the door at 401 N. Tryon Street read: “Thank you, Charlotte. We are officially closing our doors on March 25, 2019. We have enjoyed being part of your neighborhood and we appreciate your business. Thank you for years of patronage. Please visit one of our many other locations.”
The restaurant chain decided to close the Charlotte location after examining its overall goals, said Josh Kern, the Chief Experience Operator of CraftWorks Holdings, which owns all of Rock Bottom’s restaurants. “Unfortunately, the location in Charlotte just didn’t drive sales. This was purely a business decision as we continue to focus on other locations throughout the country,” he said.
“We appreciate our team members and thank our guests. We continue to be optimistic about the future of Rock Bottom and are pleased with recent progress made on several growth initiatives that we believe should have a meaningful impact on our business,” Kern said. “We appreciate our raving fans of the brand and we certainly enjoyed operating in Charlotte.”
Charlotte residents gave mixed reactions on the abrupt closing. Many were surprised by today’s announcement, others not so much.
“I’m not surprised. Honestly, I’m surprised they have survived this long. I’ve visited Rock Bottom twice and I’ve been underwhelmed each time,” said Charlotte resident Davida Jackson.
The location may have led to complications for the restaurant, who didn’t get as much walking traffic as other Uptown spots, suggested one resident.
“Businesses that sit on the edge of Uptown struggle because the walking traffic is not heavy down there during the work day and there is no free parking,” said Julian Cuthbertson, who works about a block from Rock Bottom.
“Additionally, rent/lease payments are astronomical in the Uptown area. I’d imagine leasing issues or disagreements is what drove them out. I’ve always assumed that was the case with Deltas as well. That space is still vacant,” Cuthbertson said. “But, it’s good to note that they were one of the first to brew their own beer in this era of breweries popping up all over the place.”
This story originally appeared in CharlotteFive.