Tuesday, September 2, 2008

John Harvard's Monroeville/Pittsburgh closes

Saw in the Pittsburgh Business Times that the John Harvard's brewpub in Monroeville/Wilkins Twp. has closed. Unfortunately, this can't come as a surprise to anyone; the JHBH pubs have been closing for the past few years. Too bad that this comes as the third western PA brewpub to close in a year: Hereford & Hops and Johnstown also closed. High materials prices? Sure. Tough economy? Uh-huh. But you gotta figure a corporate trend in there too.

10 comments:

shadow said...

Damn. Now that I don't live out there I didn't get there often, but I'm going to miss them. I hope Rivertowne, at leats, holds on.

Bill G. said...

How did this happen?!?!?

We had been in within the last 2 weeks, and there was NO sign whatsoever of any closing; in fact, Steve was happily talking about brewing a Weizenbock with the raffle winner from the Mug Club party, and looking forward to the Oktoberfest party, with 8 different German-style beers and "oompa-loompa" music.

How could these morons in Boston do this to what, at least to me, appeared to be a successful business??

Lew Bryson said...

Unfortunately, Bill, that's how it usually happens. Brewpubs close suddenly, and usually the employees have no clue until they arrive at work and the doors are locked.

Why it happened is something we won't know for sure, but...with several other JHBH's closing in the past three years, things weren't optimistic. That's why Andrew Maxwell got out and is at Rivertowne.

Bill G. said...

You're right Lew..I'm just really shocked and bummed about this news.

It just seems like the last time this came up, I discussed it with them, and it was about the time that they were opening the Hidden Valley taproom, which seemed to dispel the rumors. They actually brought in brewers from other JHBH locations for the Mug Club party...came across as another happy year for me.

I just hope that this is just a new beginning instead of a final end. They've got great equipment and an amazingly talented and creative brewer in Steve Sloan (if not an extremely profitable location...I was told their rent was $27 a square foot), and I would like to see something rise out of the ashes (truth be told, I always thought the "back story" was a little bit silly anyway).

Steve said...

This is some bad news. I wasn't a huge fan of their food, it was decent for pub grub but their beers were tasty!

If Rivertowne goes under too it'll be a really really sad day for Monroeville/Pittsburgh.

Loren said...

Counting the days until the last CT JH's closes. Sadly inevitable perhaps?

Shame too.

8dot3 said...

John Harvard's and Johnstown were both simply below average brew pubs, thats why they failed IMO.

Lew Bryson said...

8.3,
Didn't get to Johnstown enough to argue the point, though they'd gotten steadily better and were easily the best thing around, but I would disagree with you about JHBH. It depends on where you draw your sample pool, of course, but "below average" wouldn't be something I'd tag them with.

Eden said...

Does anyone belong to the mug club at John Harvards? We just renewed again in July for another year and went tonight for Monday mug night only to find out they are closed for good. I was there two weeks ago and there was no notice about their pending closing. I am angry because I just lost $80 for nothing. Corporate is certainly going to hear from me!!!

Lew Bryson said...

Eden,
Understand your pain, but...I've seen these things go on and on, so: this is the LAST mug club comment I will publish. Period.