The Central City Taphouse location is for sale in Surrey’s city core.
The pub is listed on restaurantbbusinessbroker.ca for $98,000 as an asset sale, with the name of the business not included.
The listing says it’s an “amazing opportunity to own” an 800-seat pub/restaurant, spread over 8,500-sq.-ft. It also says there are two liquor licences; a 500-seat liquor primary licence for Sunday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; and a 300-seat food primary licence from 9 a.m. to midnight seven days a week.
The “amazing kitchen facilities” include a walk-in cooler, walk-in freezer and “large canopy.”
It adds the lease at 13450 102 Ave. is good until April 30, 2023, with renewal options.
In a Nov. 4, 2020 news release, Central City Brewers and Distillers announced a “temporary closure” of two restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. The release stated Red Racer Taphouse on Beatty Street in Vancouver and Central City Taphouse in Surrey would be closing temporarily.
“At this time Central City elected to close these locations due to the market conditions that have affected the hospitality industry because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty that has resulted.”
The release adds Central City Brewing began at the Central City Shopping Centre location in 2003, while Red Racer Taphouse (initially Red Racer Restaurant) opened in 2015.
The Now-Leader has reached out to Central City Brewing & Distillers, but has yet to hear back.
The brewery’s associated social media accounts haven’t had any new posts in several months
Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, said she knew Central City Brewing & Distillers was “experiencing some challenges,” but on Thursday (Jan. 7), she said she hadn’t heard of the taphouses being listed for sale.
She said the hit to restaurants and pubs during the COVID-19 pandemic has been “significant.”
“Whenever we do our labour market and intelligence report, done on a monthly basis, one of the hardest-hit industries of the pandemic has been the restaurant sector in addition to others, such as arts and culture, hospitality, tourism.”
Huberman noted there have been “many” restaurant closures in Surrey, and B.C., as a result of the pandemic.
“Some of the restaurants, they are not able to access the funding programs, the business support programs, they may not be eligible or they were hanging on by a thread and it just simply doesn’t make sense for them to continue to be in business.”
Huberman added that when additional restrictions are put on restaurants, “even those that were placed on New Year’s Eve at the last minute,” present “significant challenges.”
On Dec. 30, 2020, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix announced liquor sales would be cut off at 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. That was at both stores and restaurants.
“If you are placing additional restrictions on businesses, there needs to be some type of immediate financial support for businesses that are facing closure to preseve health and safety protocols,” Huberman said.
Asked how she thinks this could affect the restaurant sector in Surrey long-term, Huberman said, “The whole purpose of Surrey City Centre and the downtown core redevelopment is where people can live, learn, work and play. You don’t want people just to work there and not be able to live there and play there and enjoy restaurants.
“The long-term effects are really the capacity to take on entrepreneurial risk. As we know, it takes between two to four years for any start-up to be financially viable.”