Pyramid Alehouse closes its Sacramento doors for good – today

Matt Zberg, a 45-year-old East Sacramento resident who works downtown, has been coming to the Pyramid Alehouse on K Street for the last 15 years, and planned to go there for lunch Monday. Then he received a text from his wife saying, "I’m here for you in your time of need as you morn the lose of a dear friend, Pyramid Alehouse."  

Zberg’s wife got the news after Pyramid Alehouse announced Monday on its Facebook page that it would be shutting down its Sacramento operation, effective immediately. 

According to a statement made in the comments section, "Trust us, this is just as much of a shock to our employees as it is to you all. We are devastated by this news."

Zberg said he worried about how it could impact the neighborhood.

"I’m always concerned about any business that closes down, when they shutter their doors, how that’s going to affect other places right next to it," he said  

The brew-up was located within the eastern end of K Street, which the Downtown Sacramento Partnership has recently rebranded as "The Kay" district as part of a revitalization effort. Several restaurants and bars have opened in the area in recent years, most recently Oishii Sushi & Karaoke Bar, which opened four months ago.

Lisa Martinez, spokesperson with the DSP, said that the closing represents an opportunity.

"We’re disappointed to see that location go, but at the same time that gives us an opportunity to re-lease it with another retail, entertainment use that supports what’s already going on in that area," she said.  

Steve Forestell, a business traveler visiting from Canada, visited Pyramid Alehouse the night before and came back Monday for lunch with a group of friends, only to find the restaurant closed with a sign on the door announcing the news that it would not be re-opening.

"It was so good for dinner we came back for lunch, and we were shocked to find out that it was closed," he said. 

At the time of posting representatives from Pyramid Alehouse could not be reached for comment. 

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March 4, 2013 | 12:11 PM

Too bad. I always liked the place. Their service was incredibly slow, but their food was good and the staff was always friendly. Their Apricot Ale was incredibly good, and their nacho appetizer was a great dish. I guess they follow Hard Rock Cafe in chains leaving downtown. Who will be next? There are few options for people that work in the area that aren’t expensive, crappy food or have rude staff. I don’t know how that K Bar stays in business. But I guess Pizza Rock will be the number one place now. So long Pyramid. Some of us will miss you.

March 4, 2013 | 12:14 PM

I appreciated Pyramid for what it was at the time, but I now really really hope a local brewery will now take that space over.

It’s a huge space and overhead is probably pretty high, but I hope someone like Ruhstaller, Knee Deep, etc can turn it into something local and really cool

March 4, 2013 | 12:21 PM

I agree. If it weren’t such a huge place, I’d be more optimistic that another brewery could take over. Besides being such an undertaking, most new brewers are moving away from the brewpub model and focusing on making beer and keeping costs down.

March 4, 2013 | 1:33 PM

Why not open a cooperative brewery storefront? Several local brewers could make it a shared space. I’d go to that.

Avatar of lmw
March 5, 2013 | 2:59 PM

That’s a great idea, GeorgeWilson!

And get those pickle guys to have a stand, and maybe a small coffee booth for those that don’t drink alcohol. And how about some more stuff to buy? Some of us want to shop for neat stuff, too, not just drink.

March 4, 2013 | 12:29 PM

I’d love to know what happened that made them decide to close with no notice. A nice farewell party during beer week would have been preferable to just closing shop. After all, they still sell beer in local stores, and now there are a lot of annoyed people and (presumably) screwed over employees who won’t be buying Pyramid any time soon. I can understand if you’re just bleeding money and need to shut down ASAP, but I’d imagine these bigger guys would have a broader look at the business.

March 4, 2013 | 12:58 PM

Boring beer, bad food, slow service. I wonder why they closed?

March 4, 2013 | 1:48 PM

I think blissfully to the Beer:30 days of ’03 and ’04, but after that it was just a downward slide. One thing is for sure: Something similiar MUST take its place.

March 4, 2013 | 1:50 PM

KCRA is reporting that severance packages are only going to those employees who do not talk to the press. Talk about what??

March 5, 2013 | 9:01 AM

I’m not keen on severance being tied to restriction of employee free speech, as my main concern wasn’t for the alehouse, but for the employees who might have been losing their jobs with no notice. At least there is some kind of severance for them.

March 4, 2013 | 2:04 PM

You have to assume chops are being licked over moving into Pyramid’s space. Wonder if it could be a spot for a Sierra Nevada or a Gordon Biersch to TAP into the local beer movement and open up shop. Or, is it too early to think about “LowBrau II?”

March 4, 2013 | 2:44 PM

Hot off the heels of Beer Week, there’s definitely interest. Besides an abundance of local talent, non-local breweries are seeing opportunities: Ninkasi has employees staying in the area for a couple of weeks to scope out the market, and Deschutes is doing their “Base Camp” week of events for the first time in Sac this May.

March 4, 2013 | 3:50 PM

“How that’s going to AFFECT other places right next to it.”

March 4, 2013 | 8:25 PM

I don’t know how many others had a similar experience – but when they first opened, the cooking was often really bad, with food that was served close to being raw. I lost count of the number of things I took back. But for a while, there wasn’t much else to choose from nearby and we ate there (or got take out) during many film festivals and other special events at the Crest Theatre. They also had a pretty good plate of nachos with chicken breast on it that they took off the menu but continued to serve for quite a long time after that. Once the list of alternatives grew, we drifted away from Pyramid – it had been the go-to place for long enough on that block that we just grew tired of it – it had only been the default choice for lack of other viable options close by. It makes me wonder how long it could have lasted if there had been other better options all along.

March 4, 2013 | 10:14 PM

Dear Meat Gods,
If the Beer Gods choose to abandon this space, please bless our sacred city with a Brazilian steak house.
Brazilian-deprived citizens

March 4, 2013 | 11:01 PM

Over the past few years I thought it was odd that Pyramid maintained its early closing hours (10-11 PM on weekends, as early as 7 PM on Sundays) even though the new businesses on the 1000 block of K (and other nightlife businesses in the neighborhood) stay open until 2 AM or later. Seemed like a missed opportunity for late-night business. Although apparently other Pyramid locations all close by 11 PM too…maybe being part of a corporate chain prevented them from seizing that opportunity.

With any amount of luck, a local businessperson will take the opportunity to move into the space (the idea of a collaborative local brewery/brewpub in the heart of downtown has definite appeal!) and be part of the late-night experience that takes place on K Street every weekend.

March 5, 2013 | 9:08 AM

The updated article from the SacBee has some interesting tidbits. Apparently it wasn’t such a surprise to DSP, but they think they have plenty of interest from similar-ish operations:

March 5, 2013 | 9:45 AM

Bring back the Bon Marche store that used to be there in the 1940′s! I enjoyed the “Shot of Class” restaurant that was there for many years.

March 5, 2013 | 10:33 AM

IT is a sad day for any downtown business to shut down. The beer was not half bad, although I never tried the food. The landlord must have been charging sky-high rents, and not willing to renegotiate even in the short term. Too bad. “Brew-It-Up, Sacramento Brewing Co., Elk Grove Brewing Co.,” and now, “The Pyramid.” Overhead costs are always a consideration.
Still, it was NOT a classy way to “Go Out.”
Had there been some notice, the “Beer Public” might have spoken.
There’s still “River City Brewing” at the 4th & K St.

March 5, 2013 | 10:40 AM

You have to look at their competition. There are many great breweries within a short drive of downtown Sac, so it is no surprise that a crappy second-rate brewery closed down. I was never very impressed with Pyramid’s beers, and their food is mediocre at best. Nowadays you have to have something unique to keep you going, just look at places like Russian River Brewing Co.

March 5, 2013 | 11:03 AM

Quite honestly, I’m not surprised by the closing. They seemed to rely on out-of-towners for business. You know, the convention center/staying in the local hotel crowd. It’s beyond me how any locals would consider going there regularly for lunch. You know something’s not right with the “memorable” food when the best people can do is talk about the good nachos. Really? That’s it?
On the other hand, we should probably give ‘em credit for creating a spark in that area which encouraged other businesses to give it a try. However, once people discovered new & exciting other places, they obviously didn’t feel any reason to return to Pyramid: the excitement had long worn off, they did nothing to keep current & reinvent themselves, appreciate the longtime patrons they did have, & didn’t offer any real value to cost-conscious (or furloughed?) consumers. I can think of a number of other places in the area which continue to rest on their laurels. Maybe they’ll catch on…..

March 5, 2013 | 11:39 AM

I enjoyed the place and it was just a walk from the IMAX so that’s where we usually ate. I will miss them.

March 5, 2013 | 11:39 AM

Man, they closed JUST as their seasonal Curveball was to come out! DARN!!!

March 5, 2013 | 11:59 AM

Pyramid beer is average and service was worse. Ck out Firesone, Rubicon, Yard House, BJs for good beer, food and service. Can’t wait for a new restaurant to move in so I can come back for lunch there!

March 5, 2013 | 4:53 PM

I ate there once and had bad food, and bad service…I never went back

March 5, 2013 | 7:48 PM

Still can’t believe this place closed down. :(

March 6, 2013 | 8:13 AM

Not surprising because redevelopment projects simply do not work for many reasons. The downtown plaza 30 years ago was given to Canadian company with redevelopment…then pushed all Sacramento talents out of the mall…then gave it with redevelopment free monies to Weisfield company and failed again…then pushed Sacramentans with talents out of K Street corridor with no plans…now sold dowtown again cheap in hopes of developers getting more free subsidizes, tax breaks, and financial gains under the guise of an arena and more chain stores that is suppose to transform Sacramento into something big with no plan and expertise around to support this move.

March 6, 2013 | 9:08 PM

First of all, that area is called The Kay now? What a stupid name. How in the world did that get approved? If the new arena does in fact get built the city council needs to come up with a better name. Hell, please just call it K Street. Having said that, it’s too bad yet another downtown business bites the dust. Another tie to a new arena is growth and maybe a good restaurant such as The Yard House will consider opening here. L Street has huge potential to become something similar to the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica or even the 16th Street shopping area in Denver, CO.

March 17, 2013 | 6:44 PM

Umm, How has Mr. Zberg been going to Pyramid for the “last 15 years” if Pyramid’s status update says that “It’s been an amazing 10 years”? This is why I hate Sacramento.

April 22, 2013 | 8:03 AM

There’s some activity inside there. Prepping for an equipment auction, perhaps?

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