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Dear Valued Customers and Community



A few weeks ago, a fierce storm, called a Derecho, tore through Springfield and surrounding communities.


Nearly every resident and business was impacted by the storm in one way or another.


The Dew Pub and Grill on Dirksen Parkway sustained major damage prompting a long evaluation of what was best to do. What would be our next step?


Several Factors have gone into the decision to re-open it or keep this location closed.


After meeting with staff, insurance officials and many others, the decision, today, has been made not to re-open this location. The storm was not the only factor. It was just the last straw.


5-years ago we signed a lease at the Dirksen Parkway location. The store was doing well and building momentum. Then COVID-19 hit us. Something new to the world forced the closure of businesses around the country. As the small company we are, that was a major blow to us. We took a big hit, loosing tens of thousands of dollars. When the shutdown orders were lifted, we picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves off and began the process of starting over. Then the staffing crisis many businesses are still faced with became a challenge. Just when we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel from COVID, we get hit again and once again forced to shut down. This time it happened at the end of our lease which is up at the End of this month (July).


The big question is can we rebuild this location again after a second major shutdown? Do we sign another 5-years? and would it take 5-years, and tens of thousands of dollars to just to see the light at the end of the tunnel just as our second 5-year term lease was ending? Or do we absorb the loss now and look for another location to open in the future giving us a new and fresh start. Many have advised us considering everything, that would be the better choice, giving us a better chance of building a stronger business for us and our community.


The decision was to take the approach of moving on from the Dirksen Parkway location. John Leskovisek, one of the owners spoke with a local realtor. This realtor told John he would be happy to help us find the right spot. We do not know when a new location will be announced, as we are still searching for a location in another market to replace the Dew location which was closed on Wabash Avenue earlier this year. That because the lease there was up.


It was a very difficult decision, but after walking through the store for the first time, since the storm the other day, it just didn't feel right to reopen it. Have you ever had that feeling that something just wasn't right? That feeling weighed heavily on us during that walk-thru. Not that this location won't make a great place for someone else but for us it just didn't feel right. Meanwhile, the staff has been reassigned to other store locations providing new opportunities for them to grow. We value our staff so much for without them we would not be here at all.


Also, the Dew Pub and Grill located at 301 North Grand Avenue West remains open. It too was forced to close following the storm, but it did not sustain the kind of loss the Dirksen Parkway location has. So, we have decided to invest in that property since we own it and because it is a community landmark once housing the Red Coach Inn. We have been working with Alderwoman Lakeisha Purchase on what would be best for that area, as the North End is going through a rebuilding/revitalization process. The Medical District in the area is expanding largely in part because of the Alderwoman's dedication and hard work in that area.


New Management at the North Grand location has been brought in and Daily specials, Like honoring our First Responders, Military and Health Care workers on Wednesdays with a special for all customers to enjoy while honoring these special folks. That has been launched. Other days of the week specials are about to be announced and the store location will begin to take on a new look as we work to give the old building an update.


So, while we are saddened by the closure of our Dirksen Parkway location, we are excited about the future of the Dew. The Dew is part of the Character and make-up of our community. Being part of the community since 1909.


In a recent Blog Post, we explained how Mike and John often ask themselves what would Joe Do? What does Joe think? The Dew founder is gone but still plays a big role in the major decision processes. The answer came in one of the many writings from Joe, Mike and John hold dearly. "If it don't feel right, it's not right. Move on. Do something good, Ok?" Well Joe, we hear you. We are going to work to do something good.


Part of doing something good is building a strong retail division providing more opportunities. The retail division of the Dew is going to be a major focus of the company. It's not quite there yet, but it's happening. Good things are happening. Stores like Hy-Vee, County Market, Country Market, Apple Barn and others now carry the Dew Family Size Cans and Dew Spice Blends on store shelves. Hy-Vee has been aggressively bringing the Dew product into the stores in Springfield, Peoria, Bloomington, Canton and soon 10 other markets. Please support those who are supporting small businesses like the Dew. Who are working to do something good. We are so appreciative and honored these locations are carrying the Dew Product.


To you, our customers, our community. We cannot express how touched we have been by your words of encouragement, your support now and through the years. We hope that you continue to support us and keep us in your prayers as we move forward.


To our Mayor and Elected officials in Springfield, the First Responders, CWLP Crews and City Workers. Thank you for your hard work and your support. It was because of you, while there are setbacks like this storm, we are able to move forward and grow together as a community.


It is our hope, with the approval of the community that the Dew will be part of this community for years to come. While we are not perfect, we will work hard each and every day to make all of you proud. To do something good. Ok?


From all of us at the Dew.

Thank you.


dewchilli.com

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