Southside eatery Terminal Brewhouse closing this month

Staff photo / The Terminal Brewhouse is shown in this March 16, 2020, photo. It is located next to the Chattanooga Choo Choo on Market Street.
Staff photo / The Terminal Brewhouse is shown in this March 16, 2020, photo. It is located next to the Chattanooga Choo Choo on Market Street.

The Terminal Brewhouse will reach the end of the line on April 21 "due to irreconcilable lease issues," according to a statement posted on its Facebook page Wednesday morning. The restaurant near the Chattanooga Choo Choo opened in 2009.

Co-owner Matt Lewis and his partners, Geoff Tarr and Ryan Chilcoat, bought the building that houses the business in 2016, but said in a telephone interview that he had sold it. Chaudhari Family Limited Partnership bought the building in 2021. Attempts to reach someone at the partnership for comment were unsuccessful.

Lewis said in a telephone interview that the new owner has "exercised his right to terminate our lease." Lewis and his partners also own The Honest Pint and Hair of the Dog. Lewis is also partners with Monica Smith in Mean Mug Coffeehouse.

Lewis said it is unlikely he will reopen Terminal somewhere else and that he plans to focus on the other businesses.

"We might even incorporate some of the menu items from Terminal into our other menus," he said.

Lewis also has already begun plans to absorb as many of the Terminal's 35 employees into the other businesses as possible and to provide severance for the other staff members.

"It [Terminal] is a big operation," he said. "It's a 13-year-old concept, so I'm not sure it would work today [as a new restaurant]."

He said the business was just one of a few brewhouses in town when it opened and that it pre-dated much of the renaissance that has taken place on the Southside. The triangular-shaped building was built in 1900 and has been many things over the years.

"Station Street didn't exist then, of course," Lewis said, "and there were just one or two restaurants on Main Street. We had a good run until about 2018, but when they redid 14th Street into Station Street, we lost business and never really recovered."

He said the business was doing well, but not as well as pre-2018.

Chattanooga Choo Choo President and Southside resident Adam Kinsey said via text that he has been frequenting Terminal since it opened, and that the restaurateurs led the way in many ways for the area's revitalization.

"Matt, Geoff and Ryan believed in Main Street before most others ever would," he said. "They showed what was possible with older buildings and immediately gave life to the Southside. Not only did they help jumpstart what Main Street has become today but they helped ferment the fun and vibrant brewery community Chattanooga now has."

According to the Facebook post, the last day for normal operations will be Sunday, April 17. The restaurant will be open for limited hours from April 18-21 to sell growlers of beer and to sell limited offerings from the food and bar menu.

"We are proud to be early believers in the Southside district and overwhelmed by the support this vibrant community has offered us over the last 13 years. We will miss serving you," the post said.

"We hope to see you soon at Hair of the Dog and the Honest Pint.

"The Terminal Crew."

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354. Follow him on Twitter @BarryJC.