June 01, 2020
Bourbon Blue is closing its doors after 17 years due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Manayunk restaurant had offered New American cuisine with a New Orleans-themed menu since opening in late 2002 near the Manayunk Canal. It has been providing takeout and delivery service since dining services were prohibited under the coronavirus shutdown.
Bourbon Blue owner Brendan McGrew and his girlfriend Melissa Gregory announced the news on the restaurant's Facebook page Monday afternoon.
“For the past two decades Bourbon Blue has been our home and you have been our family,” the couple wrote. “There have been so many great memories throughout the years from you, our guests. We appreciate your love and support over the last 17 years and especially over the last two months.”
McGrew informed the restaurant's 29 employees of the decision last week, according to The Inquirer.
“I was looking at the reopening models coming out of this situation, and it just couldn’t work,” McGrew told the newspaper.
Roughly 40% of Bourbon Blue’s $2 million annual revenue came from events, and the numbers wouldn’t work out if the restaurant could only reopen at 50% capacity, McGrew said. The restaurant’s outdoor deck would only be able to accommodate 12 people once outdoor dining resumes in Philadelphia.
Mad River Bar & Grille in Manayunk and Farmicia Restaurant in Old City previously announced they would close as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
An estimated 96% of Pennsylvania restaurants have been forced to lay off or furlough workers since March, according to the National Restaurant Association. About 332,000 restaurant employees across the state — representing roughly 81% of the industry's workforce — have lost their jobs.