MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A 15 year institution, Montgomery Brewing Company brought in the crowds and helped build a changing neighborhood.
Today, it's shut down, empty, and out of business--for now.
"It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do," said owner Chris Ellis.
Ellis laid off 45 employees this week and locked the doors to the 'Brew Pub.' Owners are working to perfect the formula for success and compete with newer hangouts at nearby Alley Station.
"They're new. We're not, and Montgomery has a tendency to flock to the new things," Ellis said.
Owners are working hard to adapt, entertaining plans to renovate the second and third floors of the building for business and residential space.
"There are so many options to sift through. We'll probably take a week or so just to digest those and figure out which options are best for us," Ellis said.
In the meantime, the bar is a ghost town and customers are left waiting.
"I know the 'Montgomery Blonde [beer]' goes really well with just about everything, but I really want the black and bleu burger, so I really hope they open their doors again soon," said Ashley Taylor of Montgomery.
"Our beer is the one thing that you can't duplicate. It's unique to us. And we feel like it's unique to Montgomery. That's why we want to keep it around," Ellis explained.
Right now, owners say they honestly don't know when the business will reopen. They say they hope in the weeks or months ahead to get the beer and the business flowing once again.
Owners are also hoping lawmakers will add legislation allowing the carryout sale of the 'Brew Pub's' beer in containers, which they say would help business tremendously.