GEARHART – Gearhart Crossing, a local pub, deli and grocery, closed on Sunday.
While a "store for sale" sign has been up in the window for months, the decision to close was first publicly announced on Facebook on Saturday.
"It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I announce the closing of Gearhart Crossing Pub and Deli. Throughout the eight years of ownership, we have done our best to serve the people of the Gearhart community," the owners, Terry and Molly Lowenberg, wrote in a statement on the Gearhart Crossing Facebook page. "We appreciate your support during our time here ... We are forever grateful for your support and encouragement."
Molly Lowenberg declined to comment on the closure, but confirmed that the business is still up for sale.
The brew pub, which sits at the city's main intersection, was at times the center of controversy.
The Lowenbergs moved to close the Gearhart Grocery, which they had owned since 2010, and turn it into a brew pub in 2016. Some residents feared losing the town’s lone grocery, and felt a brew pub didn’t fit the character of the community.
Terry Lowenberg told city councilors that the Gearhart Grocery could not compete with large chains like Fred Meyer, Safeway and Costco.
Gearhart Crossing made headlines again in 2017 when Lowenberg was granted a conditional use permit to install lottery machines in the pub and deli.
The City Council initially denied the request, bringing up concerns of maintaining neighborhood character and questioning the need for the gambling machines. Lowenberg argued the lottery machines were needed to make Gearhart Crossing profitable.
City councilors eventually approved the move, fearing the denial could lead to a conflict with state law and ultimately an appeal.