Clovis’ best happy hour is no more.
Riley’s Brew Pub announced on Monday the closure of its restaurant at Alluvial and Temperance avenues, just a month after a Fresno Bee readers’ poll ranked it as having the area’s best happy hour, and by a wide margin.
The closure seemed to come with little notice and was announced in a short post on social media.
“We are heartbroken,” the post read.
“We are sincerely grateful for your patronage and the good times we shared.”
The brewpub opened in 2016 as a collaboration between Elbow Room owner Mike Shirinian and Madera brewing company Riley’s, and was part of the area’s emerging craft beer scene.
Its location was a promising spot in Clovis, just off Highway 168 near Clovis Community Hospital, next to two proposed hotels and Alluvial Avenue, which was expected to be built through to the Harlan Ranch community to the east.
“That just didn’t happen,” Shirinian told The Bee.
Lack of development, pandemic and inflation
Much of the surrounding area has yet to be developed, including a dirt lot next to the restaurant where customers often have to park. This was coupled with several years of the pandemic and, more recently, a growing set of inflationary effects, including California’s minimum wage increases.
“The sales just haven’t grown how they needed to,” and it was no longer sustainable, financially, to wait for the area to fully develop, Shirinian said in an interview Monday.
“Someday it’s going to be a great spot.”
The closure also won’t impact the brewery’s planned expansion just north of Fresno, he said.
Riley’s is currently building a brewery, restaurant, taproom and farmers market event center as part of the master-planned Riverstone Community off Highway 41 and Avenue 12 in Madera.
Shirinian said his current concern is helping get the displaced staff back into restaurant jobs.
Riley’s Brew Pub gift cards will be honored at the Elbow Room.