(Adam Vogler) [Order this photo]
Buckner Brewing Co. on North Main Street in Cape Girardeau is closing Sunday and will hold a farewell bash through the weekend.
After that, the owners plan to liquidate equipment and sell the building amid a pile of outstanding tax bills.
"This was a very difficult decision to make. We know that Buckner's holds a lot of memories for people in Cape Girardeau -- it does for us too," said Phil Brinson on Monday in a news release. "I will continue to own and operate Jeremiah's in Sikeston [Mo.] and will now be able to focus all my attention there." Brinson owns Buckner with a partner, Mark Sprigg, who handles the brewing side of the business.
Jennifer Hendrickson of Murphy Business of Cape Girardeau is handling the sale of the building and its contents for an undisclosed sum.
"The assets can be sold together or separately if a buyer is interested in converting the building to another use," Hendrickson said.
Buckner was listed for sale online on the Lorimont Place Ltd. website in February for an asking price of just more than $1 million.
The historic building was opened as the Buckner-Ragsdale clothing store in the early 1900s, and was a staple of the downtown business community until the its closure in 1982. After housing a number of shorter-term ventures, the current owners purchased it in 1998 and won the John Boardman Award for Excellence in Rehabilitation from Old Town Cape in 2004 for their transformation of the 23,000-square-foot space. It grew to contain Ragsdale's pub and The River View Room special events hall in addition to Buckner's microbrewery. According to the news release, Sprigg, who works as an emergency-room nurse at Saint Francis Medical Center, plans to move from the area to be closer to family, and Brinson wants to focus his attention on his other venture in Sikeston, Jeremiah's Restaurant & Lounge.
Employees have been notified and the owners are contacting those who have placed deposits on events in the River View Room to arrange full refunds, the release said. Friday and Saturday the community is invited to celebrate "until the beer tanks run dry," according to the release, with live music by local band Mid-Life Crisis. The band Us Instead will provide entertainment on Saturday night.
The microbrewery leaves a long list of tax bills in its wake.
Documents on file at the Cape Girardeau County Assessor's Office indicate that Cape Girardeau Brewing Co. LLC, which operates Buckner Brewing Co., has $349,723 in federal tax liens because of unpaid payroll taxes dating back to 2004.
Records indicate that six liens imposed by the Missouri Department of Revenue for unpaid 2011 state taxes were cleared when payments were made July 6 for a total of $62,540. No state liens were on file as of Monday afternoon.
Earlier this year Buckner Brewing operated for several months without a state sales-tax license when it was revoked for failure to pay the taxes. Businesses lose those licenses for failure to pay a variety of state taxes.
The Cape Girardeau County Collector's office said Monday that there was an outstanding bill for $7,675 for real estate taxes, which includes a penalty for late payment, since it was originally due Dec. 31.
The business's restaurant taxes are delinquent, said Mary Thompson of the city of Cape Girardeau's finance department. The brewery has not renewed its city business license, the deadline for which is Jan. 31, she said.
Neither was its county merchant's license renewed, which was due Dec. 31, according the Cape Girardeau assessor's office.
Messages left with Brinson and Sprigg on Monday afternoon were not returned.
132 North Main St., Cape Girardeau, Mo.