Wegmans announced that it is permanently closing its in-store pubs that had been located in 12 stores across New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The pubs had been closed temporarily in March due to the coronavirus. Burger Bar and Next Door (sushi) locations remain open with virus-related restrictions, and Amore, the company’s Italian restaurant concept, is slated to reopen later this year.
Wegmans’ first pub opened about 10 years ago in Collegeville, PA and the concept slowly grew to other stores. The pubs were known for their gourmet burgers, salads and craft beers, as well as the musical entertainment offered on weekends. It is believed that Wegmans will re-purpose the space for meal display, food prep or e-commerce fulfillment.
Grocerydive.com pointed out in an article last week that large chains and independents alike have invested deeply in restaurants and bar concepts that invite shoppers to remain in-store for longer periods of time. However, making a profit has proven to be difficult, and with Covid-19 the spaces have become even more of a liability.