SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A downtown bar and restaurant that opened with high hopes — and Sacramento tax dollars — a decade ago along K Street suddenly shut down Monday, surprising both customers and employees.
There was no announcement. One day Pyramid Alehouse employees are celebrating Sacramento Beer Week with the rest of the city, and then the next day the well drys up.
Pyramid employees didn’t find out they were out of a job until they showed up Monday morning.
“I didn’t know that yesterday was the last lunch,” said one surprised employee.
Those hoping for a brew after work were met with locked doors.
“This is my stomping grounds. I didn’t realize this was coming,” former employee Isaac Scott said.
Pyramid moved into the space along 11th and K Streets a decade ago. It was the restaurant that was supposed to begin a new vibrant era in Sacramento’s core. The city even helped the brewery collect more than $600,000 in taxpayer backed grants and loans.
Now, 10 years later Pyramid is collapsing, shutting down its restaurants and leaving dozens without a job.
Downtown workers say it’s an all too familiar sight along the K Street mall.
“When I first started coming here, there were businesses, there was some life and we watched it just go down and down and down,” said Teresa Hartley.
Security and the homeless top the list of issues.
“I think it has a long ways to go. It’s a shame that it’s in the shape that it is in,” said Anne Davis.
While the beer taps have run dry, business owners like Veni Sharma, of Derow and Sharma, are stitching through the rough patches. Sharma says the economy continues to be a major hurdle for the district.
“I think the mayor is trying very hard to bring downtown back to vitality. I think he has the right idea but times are bad,” he said.
Pyramid’s closing is not seen by all as a bad sign. Councilman Steve Hansen believes a local brewer could turn these empty tables into one of the city’s great hot spots.
“I don’t think it is negative at all. You can look at CPK’s closing at 16th and L and everyone was like ‘oh my gosh, that’s terrible,’ but ultimately Firestone has been hopping ever since,” said Hansen. “I just feel like we are headed in the right direction.”
The idea is not so far fetched as it once was. Vacancy rates have fallen in recent years with the opening of Dive Bar, Pizza Rock and District 30. Other businesses on the way include Shareef Jeweler, California Family Fitness, a new Middle Eastern restaurant and even new apartments.
Pyramid employees an estimated 80 people. One employee told CBS13 they did get severance pay.