Shortened patio outside Sterling's Boston. (Kevin Coleman/WBZ NewsRadio)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A group of Boston bars and restaurants are pulling Samuel Adams beers from their menu.
Establishments that are a part of the Glynn Hospitality group have decided to not sell the beer following issues surrounding the construction of the new Samuel Adams Tap Room.
Sterling’s Boston, which is a part of the Glynn group, is adjacent to the construction project. And according to the the bar’s general manager, Craig Coture, the construction is hurting business.
Coture said the project is lowering foot traffic to Sterling’s, leading to a significant decrease in sales, layoffs, and employees leaving—and they have been speaking out to the press.
"It would be kind of hypocritical doing interviews on all these issues with Sam Adams, and then turning around and selling their beer,” Coture said. "I can understand that a billion-dollar company doesn't care about our restaurant or even our nine-restaurant group. But if we didn't pour their beers for eternity, and in 50 years our restaurant group has 200 restaurants, that was a pretty bad decision on their part."
Coture also said the ambiance of the restaurant is hindered by the noise and smells from the construction.
“Our lunch business is down Monday through Friday because people don’t want to come sit down next to a construction zone,” Coture said. “They’re mixing black top all day, the fumes are pretty intense. People will sometimes start sitting outside, and then they’ll want to move inside.”
The restaurant offers patio seating in the summer, which has since been cut down due to the construction. This has led to a dip in income, which puts a lot of pressure on the off-season holidays. They had to close due to construction for Saint Patrick’s Day, and the day after.
“Those are the money making days, those are days when some people might [make] half their rent in one shift,” Coture said. “On Saint Patrick’s Day this year, we walked in and the restaurant was 49 degrees because during the construction they had taken off cement paneling, and taken off all the insulation.”
The Boston Beer Company, the producer of Samuel Adams beer, told WBZ NewsRadio in a statement that they have “sat down several times with our neighbors, including the Glynn Hospitality Group, throughout this process and as recently as July 1. Based on those conversations, we have continued to work with our landlord and construction partner to minimize the impact as much as possible while also prioritizing the safety of our contractors and the public.”
Although the banners around construction say the building will be done by 2019, Coture said he is doubtful.
“I don’t think that’s a realistic timeline," Coture said. "I know they’ve already pushed back multiple times on ... when it’s going to be done."
In the same statement, The Boston Beer Company acknowledged the trials of construction.
“If you’ve ever dealt with construction or home renovations, you know these projects take time and sometimes they can get messy," the statement read. "A little inconvenience now will be worth it in the end and we will all benefit from increased foot traffic and greater access and visibility than the site has ever had before."
Coture does have hope for a successful relationship between the two operations, since the Tap Room will serve only Sam Adams beer, no mixed drinks, and a limited food menu. Fundamentally, Coture believes it’ll be a different crowd, as Sterling’s regulars have told him they don’t plan on becoming patrons of the Tap Room.
“This isn’t for the people of Boston," Coture said. "This is for the people who come to Boston from everywhere else."
The Boston Beer Company said they expect the Tap Room to open by the end of the year.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kevin Coleman (@KevinColemanWBZ) reports