SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — de Vere’s Irish Pub is closing its doors in Sacramento and Davis this weekend after 14 years.
The owners made the announcement Monday evening on Instagram.
“While the last few months since opening have felt like a homecoming, we haven’t been able to dig ourselves out of the hole that the pandemic created. When looking ahead to the future, we may not ever get back to where we were pre-pandemic,” the post read. “With the heaviest of hearts we announce the closing of our pub. We will remain open until end of service on October 3rd.”
The news came as a shock to many people enjoying the pub Tuesday night.
“It’s a shame because it’s an institution. And it’s one of the better places in midtown, if not the whole city of Sacramento,” said one patron.
Some fans of de Vere’s told FOX40 they are not surprised in light of the hardships of the past 18 months.
“I mean with COVID, small businesses are hurting. So, it’s tough,” said another customer.
The bar was busy Tuesday night as it often was over its 14 years of business. But the pub’s owners said they have not been able to dig out of the hole the pandemic created.
In a conversation with FOX40, co-owner Simon de Vere White chose to focus on the positive, saying his heart is full.
Yeah, I mean the outpouring of support on social media has been overwhelming. My brother and I, our phones have been ringing non-stop since nine o’clock last night, and it’s really touching. You know, we’re super proud of everything that we were able to accomplish in the fourteen years that we were here. We have so many fantastic memories. So many wonderful employees who have worked for us and gone on to do great things with their lives. The charity events, the raising money for cancer. The people that you get to meet and the friendships that you get to make in this industry has been amazing. So we are holding our heads high.Simon de Vere White
de Vere White said he is not mad at anyone over closures or mandates, but that it’s hard to run a profitable restaurant downtown after all that has happened, especially with foot traffic not being the same.
Jot Condie, president of the California Restaurant Association, said it is likely the beginning of the second wave of pandemic-related restaurant closures. He estimates one-third of Sacramento-area restaurants are in great financial distress.
“Just super proud of everything that we’ve been able to accomplish and so excited to see how much Sacramento has grown,” de Vere White said.
Condie said part of the problem is the federal government’s restaurant relief grant fund ran dry. The restaurant association is lobbying Congress to provide more relief to businesses.
During pandemic closures, de Vere’s used PPP and FEMA funding to prepare food for the elderly and kids in the Sacramento City Unified School District. It also offered food as the burger pop-up Snug Jr.
The pub was also heavily involved in local St. Baldrick’s fundraisers for childhood cancer research.
de Vere’s owners Simon and Henry de Vere White are also involved in The Snug, a popular midtown cocktail bar, and the Ro Sham Beaux wine bar.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg tweeted about the closure Tuesday.
“A big thank you to the Devere Whites for bringing so much spirit and joy to @TheCityofSac. Covid has created such pain and difficulty. We have not heard the last of Henry and Simon in our city. They and we will come back!” Steinberg wrote.