Popular Pizza Restaurant Closed Permanently

A Lexington bar and pizza restaurant that had been forced to move from one suburban location to another now has closed. Whiskey Bear, 3195 Beaumont Center Circle Suite 100, has closed permanently, owners Daniel and Flo Marlowe confirmed on May 21. Addie’s Pizza, which was part of the business, also has closed.

They posted a sign on the door on Monday saying “Whiskey Bear is closed. Thank you for your support over the last 7 years. Much Love! – The Whiskey Bear Team.” Whiskey Bear, which started at The Summit at Fritz Farm, reopened in July 2022 in Beaumont, adding in Addie’s Pizza inside to provide food, Daniel Marlowe said.
“Whiskey Bear had always been a bar, and we wanted to keep it a bar and add the pizza concept,” he said. “But the neighborhood really wanted more of a family-friendly restaurant and the messaging was confusing.” In February they changed the name to Whiskey Bear Craft Kitchen & Bar and became a restaurant as well as a bar, he said.

“That was well-received. I think if we’d launched as that from the beginning it could have been a big help,” Marlowe said. “But the last few months the challenge in getting enough employees to work was just too much. Last Friday we only had two employees … I was grateful the weather wasn’t nice because if we’d had the patio open too everyone would have had a negative experience. That was the sign that it was time.”
Marlowe said that he and his wife are looking forward to spending time together as a family, and he is figuring out what he wants to do next. But he knows one thing: It won’t be another bar or restaurant.
The strain of finding and keeping workers, coupled with the increased food costs and increasing difficulties with unhappy and unpleasant customers has made brought him to a decision, he said: “I won’t be working in the restaurant industry anymore.” He said that other locally owned independent restaurants also are struggling and that more will close.
“I think that the small independent restaurants, outside of family run restaurants where it can be run completely by the family, are very quickly going to become a thing of the past. Its going to become all chains, and corporate run,” Marlowe said. “I would encourage everyone to support locally owned restaurants. These are the people who breathe life into the community. The industry needs people’s support and willingness to offer grace when things are less than perfect.”
The Marlowes opened the bourbon and cocktail-focused Whiskey Bear in September 2017 in The Barn at The Summit at Fritz Farm, then a new food hall at the shopping center. Whiskey Bear was one of the original tenants, with a prime patio-facing location that offered patrons a chance to sit indoors or out.
The Barn at The Summit at Fritz Farm in Lexington originally included local food vendors Athenian Grill, Atomic Ramen, Crank & Boom, La Petite Creperie, Pasture by Marksbury, Smithtown Seafood, Whiskey Bear and the Kentucky for Kentucky shop. Alex Slitz But in fall of 2021 they were forced to move after The Summit’s owners announced they were closing the food hall because they had another tenant lined up for the entire space, which remains empty. Whiskey Bear was the last original tenant of Lexington’s first food hall. Other tenants included Athenian Grill, Atomic Ramen, Crank & Boom, La Petite Creperie, Pasture by Marksbury, Smithtown Seafood and the Kentucky for Kentucky shop.

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