World of Beer Closes and Leaves Employees on the Ringer
I had initially resisted from posting about this topic, just due to the fact that I know I can't possibly know all of the angles to the story. However, now I feel compelled to write about the issue just in order to (hopefully) draw a bit more attention to the issue.
Last weekend you may have noticed that one of downtown's more recent establishments closed their doors for the last time. World of Beer closed down last Saturday August 27, 2016. It is never a pleasant time when a business is forced to close its doors, doubly so for the employees, but typically there are some sort of reparations in the form of last pay checks, referrals, or even unemployment checks. But this doesn't seem the case for the employees who showed up for work last Saturday at the Chattanooga World of Beer location. They were informed that it would be the last day open for business, with no real reason as to why. I've heard many rumors, all the way from rental/landlord disputes, insufficient alcohol permits, fraud, to the sell of the company itself. I for one have no idea what the hell is going on down there. All I know is that it's "off" for a business to close its doors in such a manner, and I hate hearing that a good portion of my people here in Chattanooga are suffering at the behest of a corporate entity pulling the plug, for whatever reason it may be.
Aside from looking like Baghdad on the inside, there's now a single note that greets would be patrons of World of Beer. The sign on the door apologizes for the urgent closing, and instructs any employees to call a posted number for any questions and payroll concerns. The overwhelming consensus seems to be that no one answers this number. Through my brief investigation on this issue it seems that several employees, news outlets, and myself included have called this number without much of a response.
There were several employees that came to work the following day, only to be greeted by said signage, and realizing that they are now out of work, with very little recourse as to the next steps they should take in order to get the money that they earned. So what are the employees to do? I'm writing this in hopes to help, and to make some people a bit more aware of the current predicament.
Seemingly the Facebook Page for the Chattanooga World of Beer has been taken down. After checking the Yelp Page and some of the more recent reviews, which all seem to be negative in the days leading up to the last. It seems as if upper management was aware of the impending doom, and this seems reflected in some of the quality of food and service via Yelp.
After doing some digging, it does seem as if the cause of the closure is in fact a financial dispute with the landlord of the Chattanooga business at least according the the Times Free Press.
World of Beer is headquartered in Tampa, FL and has closed eight stores in 2016 alone.