In February, we reported that California’s El Cajon Brewing Co. was facing bankruptcy. Last week, we heard the brewhouse and restaurant closed its doors. El Cajon Brewing was established in 2009 and first opened those same doors on October 16, 2011. To get off the ground, the project was partially funded by the City of El Cajon and the State of California, which provided more than $600,000 in loans to El Cajon Brewing. According to an article on San Diego’s Channel 7:
[El Cajon] Owner Stephen Meadows and the property owner Howard Fisher could not negotiate terms acceptable to each party to bring the private lease up to date, according to city officials. Even with negotiations, Meadows filed for bankruptcy after he was unable to fulfill rent obligations … A statement released by the city claimed that Meadows also struggled to pay back a loan he received from the City of El Cajon’s Redevelopment Agency. The outstanding loan amount of $601,000 is fully protected through collateral within the building, including the brewing and cooking equipment, as well as furnishings and other interior fixtures.
Fisher and the City of El Cajon announced they will now begin the hunt for a replacement brewery or restaurant business to fill the venue, located in the heart of downtown El Cajon. City officials said the new tenant will assume the outstanding loan on the property (located at 110 North Magnolia Ave.).
“While the City is disappointed in the closure of the business, we understand the circumstances that brought this about,” City Manager Douglas Williford said in a statement. “The City and the property owner are very confident that a suitable replacement tenant will be found in the near future. We look forward to a new grand opening of this brewery in our downtown in the not too distant future.”
Despite funding from the City of El Cajon and a loan, the El Cajon Brewing Co. officially closed its doors last Monday (the brewery wasn’t even open for two full years of business). We hope the folks behind El Cajon Brewing find new footing soon. In the meantime, there’s an excellent opportunity in El Cajon, Calif., for an up-and-coming brewery to reopen those doors.