Bear & Joey closes its doors

Popular Australian influenced brunch spot shuts after four years

Bear & Joey / Facebook

Bear & Joey, the popular brunch and lunch restaurant with Australian influences, served its last meal this past Sunday. 

The restaurant’s final day of operations coincided with the four year anniversary of its opening. It opened the location at Cook and Fort during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, during a time when dine-in eating was still restricted. 

Bear & Joey aimed to be a community gathering space and was successful in that goal, appearing to be a bustling hangout spot. The restaurant served delicious seasonal food in a beautifully designed interior, with its amazing breakfast sandwiches, french toast, and gorgeous fluffy drinks among the dishes that will be the most missed. 

Bear & Joey shared in its farewell social media post on May 1 that external factors hurt the business, citing “the crippling effects of COVID on a new, unsupported business, the economy, [and] the costs of well, everything,” as having contributed to the toll on operations. 

“It’s a tough pill to swallow, knowing that if our timing was just a little better, and we got just a little bit of help during COVID, things would have been different,” wrote the restaurant.

In that post, the restaurant thanked its staff, highlighting the community and family atmosphere that the workplace had cultivated. 

The closure came as a surprise for many customers, especially due to the restaurant’s busy influx of patrons. 

The restaurant’s announcement on social media was followed by an outpouring of memories of meals enjoyed and occasions celebrated as well as sympathies for the owners, with many sharing their frustrations with the current challenging financial climate that many local small businesses and restaurants are facing. 

Bear & Joey is among several beloved restaurants that have ceased operations recently, with Chorizo & Co. and Smiths Pub announcing closure just within this past month.

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