It is with great personal sadness that we at Night Shift Brewing have made the incredibly hard decision to cancel our Philly expansion project.
For over four years, we worked to find our second “forever home” and plant roots in our hometown. Last year, signing that lease agreement for our space in Roxborough, PA was an absolute high point. We were more excited than ever, and the early welcome we got from Philadelphians exceeded our wildest expectations. We couldn’t open it fast enough.
In February of this year, construction drawings for Phase 1 of the project were finalized. The taproom space looked amazing. Phase 2 planning was already in the works. We had financing approval from our bank, and a longstanding “dream project” was about to become a reality.
It wasn’t meant to be. The COVID-19 pandemic shook our business to the core, and obviously almost everything outside of it. We’re lucky that we’re still in operation and able to see ourselves coming out of this crisis intact. But pushing forward on our Philly project has become too dangerous, threatening a potential collapse of NSB if we don’t pull the plug now. So, hard as it is, that’s what we’re doing.
In sum, effective May 5, 2020, we have executed an agreement with our landlord (Alliance Partners, HSP LLC) to immediately terminate our lease. The Alliance folks were great to work with throughout both the execution of the lease and the termination process. We can’t speak highly enough about their character, patience, and cooperation through this.
To go from house-hunting in Philly over the 2019 holidays, to almost kick-starting construction in February, to an abrupt end of the project in April has been an emotional whirlwind and completely deflating. That said, we are resilient and scrappy, and have always found a way to make our dreams a reality. In the short-term, that means our independent, family-owned business needs to focus on core operations to weather this crisis. In the long-term, we hope this means we’ll be in a better position than ever to revisit our vision for Philly.
We’d like to express our sincerest appreciation of, and gratitude for, everyone in the Philadelphia community that has crossed our path. This group includes, but is not limited to, The City of Philadelphia, Roxborough Development Corp, Roxborough Civic Group, YMCA Roxborough, C.H. Schwertner & Son (our project general contractor), Runcible Studios (our project architect), Alliance HSP (our landlord), the PA craft brewery community (especially the folks at Yards Brewing), the many PA fans with whom we’ve connected, and many, many others. We will be back at this, hopefully sooner than later. Thank you, as always.
Rob Burns, Mike O’Mara, and Michael Oxton
Night Shift Brewing