Granite City employees blindsided by sudden closing of west side restaurant

Granite City employees blindsided by sudden closing of west side restaurant

The sudden closing of the Granite City Food & Brewery restaurant on West Towne Mall left employees shocked Wednesday.

The restaurant served its last meal Tuesday night and called employees in for a meeting Wednesday morning where they were told — for the first time — that the restaurant would not reopen and they would be left without jobs.

Hayley White, 25, worked at the restaurant as a server for more than five years before they shut down. During the meeting Wednesday morning, she felt betrayed.

“It’s very shocking, it kind of feels like my work family was ripped apart,” White said. “I feel very taken aback, I feel very betrayed, I feel it was very cold and heartless for them to do such a thing, I feel very sad.”

The only indication White and the rest of the staff had that something might be wrong was a message they had received at 2 p.m. Tuesday. The message told staff that there was an urgent meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, but did not include any more information.

“There was chatter, and we kind of thought that maybe the restaurant was closing, but I didn’t think that was possible,” White said.

At the meeting, the staff was told that the restaurant would not reopen, and the staff would be left without jobs. White, who worked part-time there while she was a student at Madison College, will now have to look for new employment for while she finishes her degree.

Adam Kammer, 21, who had worked at the restaurant for more than four years, was shocked to hear the restaurant was closing. He started as a host and worked his way up to an associate manager position. He had quit a week before the restaurant closed for unrelated reasons.

“There was absolutely no indication, within the week that I left, none of the staff or the salary managers had any idea that it was closing,” Kammer said. “I was totally surprised, I never thought it would close, no one who worked there did.”

Kammer says the restaurant’s Facebook page has been deleted, and there is no reference of the Wisconsin restaurant on the national website of Granite City Food & Brewery’s corporate website. Google also has the restaurant listed as permanently closed.

Granite City’s corporate office, based in Minnesota, was not available for comment late Wednesday night.