On November 25, 2015, two friends and I sat around the very last table in the back of The Glockenspiel in St. Paul. The German restaurant and bar was packed to the gills with people who, like us, had come to raise a glass for one last toast before the place closed its doors for good at the end of the night.
The bar had been a mainstay of our friend group ever since I moved to St. Paul in 2012 and first discovered the Bavarian-themed gem just beyond the heavy drapes in its entryway. Our favorite bartender, Brian, became acquainted with us and knew exactly what we were there for—boots of Warsteiner and Hacker-Pschorr, Paulaner and Bitburger. As we passed the two-liter glass around the table, we enjoyed seeing the faces of the other regulars bellied up to the bar, including an old man who wore half-buttoned shirts, gold chains, and looked like he’d just finished a gig as a Barry Manilow impersonator at the VFW.
But despite our love for the place, there we were, lifting plastic cups filled with the dregs of the very last keg and wishing The Glock farewell. We wondered to ourselves, were we regular enough? Could we have saved the bar with a few more rounds of boots? It was obvious from the crowd there that night that The Glock held a special place in many people’s hearts. How could we have let it die?
It’s easy to take for granted that restaurants, breweries, distilleries, bars, and liquor stores will be there when we want or need them, especially when those companies have been around for decades. Rarely do we think about the financial expenses a business bears each month just to keep the lights on.
This month, our Economics issue gives readers a look at some of the hidden economic levers affecting small businesses and local artists. In gaining a better understanding of these market forces, we hope readers will take away the same lesson I learned that last night at The Glock: If we value what a business does and stands for, it’s incumbent on us as consumers to support them with our dollars.
Is there a brewery you love? Make sure you’ve got a six-pack in your fridge. Is there a restaurant that captured your taste-buds with a spectacular dish? Keep it in your regular rotation for dining out. If you value well-made goods, make the investment in local makers doing it right.
And if you appreciate the work we do here at The Growler, we ask you to support us by patronizing our advertisers. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to bring you the magazine you are reading. Be sure to tell them The Growler sent you.
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Looking for past issues? Browse The Growler Archive.