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City seeks new brewery/restaurant to takeover loan

April 2, 2013 (El Cajon)--After previous good faith attempts to continue operation, the El Cajon Brewing Company, which opened in October 2011 with hefty loans of public finds, has closed its doors as of April 1.

Last fall, steps were taken to keep the family-owned business open as the property owner, Howard Fisher, and the Brewing Company owner and president, Stephen Meadows, attempted to negotiate terms favorable to both parties to bring the private lease current.  Despite this effort, Meadows later filed for bankruptcy after he was unable to fulfill his rent obligations to the property owner, as well as a loan he had received from the City of El Cajon’s Redevelopment Agency. 

The Redevelopment Agency’s outstanding loan amount of $601,000 is fully protected by collateral within the building, including the brewing and cooking equipment and other interior fixtures, furnishings and equipment.

The City of El Cajon and the property owner will now be working together to locate a replacement brewing company/restaurant business, as soon as possible.  It is expected that a new tenant will assume the City’s outstanding loan. 

City Manager Douglas Williford stated, “While the City is disappointed in the closure of the business, we understand the circumstances that brought this about. The City and the property owner are very confident that a suitable replacement tenant will be found in the near future.  We look forward to a new grand opening of this brewery in our downtown in the not too distant future.”  

The brewery occupied prime real estate downtown at the corner of Magnolia and Main Streets.  The El Cajon Brewer hosted a fundraising event last year to benefit our nonprofit East County Magazine and Viejas Wildfire & Emergency Alerts.

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