B-TOWN BIZ: Pit Stop Bottle Shop going out of business, last day will be Oct. 16


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Joey and John Hopps are excited about opening their new business on Thursday, Oct. 16.

When they first opened Oct. 16, 2014, Joey and John Hopps were very excited to fulfill a dream of owing their own business. Photo by Scott Schaefer.

Pit Stop Bottle Shop & Pub, which has been operating at 216 SW 153rd Street since first opening Oct. 16, 2014, announced on its Facebook page that it will be going out of business, with its last day set for this Sunday, Oct. 16.

Ironically, their last day of business on Oct. 16 will be their two-year anniversary (they will be celebrating the day before).

“Our 2 year anniversary party on October 15th is now going to be a going out of business party,” they said. “Please come by this week to say hi and enjoy a farewell drink.”

Pit Stop seemed to be a popular spot in Burien – especially with dog loving beer connoisseurs (they’re dog friendly) – and this sudden closing seems to have caught the community by surprise.

When they first opened, owners John and Joey Hopps told The B-Town Blog that they had always “dreamed of owning (their) own place since starting home brewing 18 years ago.”

The business sold a wide selection of bottled beer, had at least 18 craft beers on tap, and recently expanded with a new kitchen to serve food. Reviews were excellent, averaging 4.5 stars on Yelp.

When contacted, Joey Hopps refused to comment to the blog, and no reason for the decision was given in their announcement; here’s the full post from their Facebook page:

“It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing that we are going out of business. Our last day will be Sunday, October 16th. Our 2 year anniversary party on October 15th is now going to be a going out of business party. Please come by this week to say hi and enjoy a farewell drink.

All retail beer and cider will be 35%, so come on in and stock up!

As always, thank you to our loyal customers. It’s been a hell of a run and we wouldn’t have made it this far without you!

Thank you all!”

UPDATE Oct. 9, 2016: Looks like a GoFundMe page has been set up to help save the business, with a target goal of $75,000.

Here’s what the biz said about it:

“I can’t believe that we made such an impression on people that Holly made a GoFundMe to save our business!! We have been truly amazed over the last 2 years at the genuine friendships that we have made, people we never would have met otherwise. Everyone that knows me knows that I love to entertain, have friends over for dinner – Pit Stop is that for me. When someone comes into Pit Stop for the first time, I get goosebumps when I tell them about our place. I love to watch their faces light up when we tell them all the wonderful things we get to do for the community because we have this platform. I sure would love to continue to have guests in our “home”!”

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Comments

19 Responses to “B-TOWN BIZ: Pit Stop Bottle Shop going out of business, last day will be Oct. 16”
  1. alex says:

    Too bad – best place to hang out in town. Sounds like a greedy property manager wanted to double their rent to put in a realtor’s office.

    I mean…exactly two years after they signed on… doesn’t take strong investigative journalism skills to put that together…

    • Joey Hopps says:

      Except that you are wrong Alex. We do not have a property manager, we deal directly with the property owner – who has been nothing short of amazing. For the last 7 months, as we have built our business and brand, the property owner cut our rent in half to keep us here. His construction company built our deck and our new kitchen when we decided to expand and didn’t have the funds to. The reason that we are having to close is because a lot of people in Burien don’t even know we exist. Just yesterday we had TEN new people that had never been in here before, 3 of which just happened to be driving by. If I got paid a nickel every time I heard “I have lived in Burien my whole life and never knew you existed, you can’t be serious that you have been here 2 years!” – then we wouldn’t be closing. If there is one thing that can be learned form all of this, it is simply this; EXPLORE YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD!!! Quit going to the same places day in and day out, try something new, visit the cute little shops instead of “meaning to”. Support local business, small business. Quit bickering about how it is the City’s fault that small business doesn’t make it here.

      • Eric says:

        So sorry to hear you are leaving. It’s a great place that I have recommended many times. A small consulation, Burien Actors Theatre has been in the same location for 37 seasons and we are at many local events spreading the word, yet we still get “life long” residents who come to the shows saying they never knew we were here. Even today, at The Toxic Avenger, two people said they lived in Burien for years and just found out we are here. Clearly, Burien needs a better way to spread the word about all the amazing local businesses in town.

        Hoping the go-fund-me goes well.

    • Emmett Hoyt says:

      Sorry to hear your closing as a small business adviser for 25 years I have encourage my clients to advertise. that is the engine of your business. The smaller the advertising budget the smaller the engine. The bigger…well yes the bigger the engine which makes your business run faster and stronger.
      All of Burien should have known you were there with big advertising, constantly….
      good Luck next time. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help when you need it.

  2. Matt says:

    That’s too bad. Liked that place. Maybe the location didn’t help. Sorry to see it leave.

  3. Tom Taaffe says:

    This is sad whatever the reason. Joey and John worked so hard to make this business succeed. Their beer selection was great as was the food from their new kitchen.
    They are innovators and will succeed elsewhere.. Tom

  4. Mars says:

    I went by on a Sunday afternoon a few months back to check it out but it was closed. Bummer.

  5. Peter says:

    153rd definitely seems like no man’s land compared to 152nd. No doubt that hurt the exposure of Pit Stop. Also, there are numerous bars/restaurants in Burien – I wonder at what point saturation becomes a factor in the ability of some to survive. As we speak there are two restaurants opening soon on 152nd – a Thai restaurant and Bar and a pizza joint (I think) opening up in “old Burien.” I truly hope the owners have done their homework and verified that there are enough potential customers for their businesses be successful. I see some businesses / restaurants open and honestly shake my head wondering how they think they can survive. Sometimes I’m wrong, but often they end up closing.

    No doubt Pit Stop has a loyal following, as evidenced by the Gofundme efforts. Pit stop wasn’t really my kind of place, (didn’t really like the vibe there or the dogs) but I admire anyone who makes a go of it and pursues their dreams and I wish them well.

  6. Nicky says:

    I’m still hoping for a miracle that you stay open!!! If people don’t know about your business advertise, advertise, advertise.

  7. cindy says:

    Wow!! Gofund me goal $75K!!!!
    must be in big in red

  8. Joey Hopps says:

    Cindy,

    Not really, that would help us to stay open for another 6 months and continue to grow our business….

    Emmett,

    We spent $1000 a month on advertising and even still today had new people come in that had never heard of us. Also, it was no secret that we have been looking for an investor for the last year, which is asking for help. As an accountant for the last 25 years, I knew when it was time to ask for help.

    Everyone else,

    Please don’t make things up or try to speculate why we are closing- it is as simply as I said earlier, not enough business. We appreciate everything that everyone is doing to try to help us, it is heart warming:)

  9. Lakeview Too says:

    Just around the corner from the new The Bite. 153rd was sort of sleepy for years, but there are some new(er) restaurants, salon and little specialty groceries now. Also, it’s not as obvious a turn off of 1st Ave as 152nd. I didn’t notice if there was a signboard out by 1st Ave but it would be easy to miss it zooming by before/after the big intersection at 152nd. I’ve seen the ads regularly on the Blog and figured it was a popular spot (I’m not a beer drinker) but hadn’t looked at the menu, which looks really good! Lots of people will be moving into the new apartments and will be in walking distance soon.
    Thanks for your involvement with the addition of the off-leash area at the park. It has brought new life to what was a long vacant and somewhat unsafe looking upper part of the park, with a community of people and dogs socializing regularly. Much needed! Big dogs gotta run somewhere. Before it was on the same grass that the kids play on, or the soccer field. It’s a great amenity for the neighborhood.

  10. Jeff says:

    Bad to see any Burien business go, with the city council in disarray, I fear for Burien’s future. However to blame the whole of Burien for your failure is ridiculous and insulting, I went to Pit Stop a few times, the service was horrible and employee attitudes just the worst. Own it.

    • Joey Hopps says:

      Jeff,

      I do not see in any of my posts that I was blaming Burien as a whole for anything. I was, however, encouraging everyone to get out and visit the new local spots before it’s too late. Additionally, although I appreciate your feedback, it is obvious to me that you have never been to my place because you never would have made the comments you did if you actually had.

  11. KateBB says:

    Bummer!!!

  12. BetterBurien says:

    Joey and John are genuine people with a great sense of humor. We’ve watched their establishment grow into what it is today. They should be proud of how far they’ve come. It seems like every time we went in, there was something new (pinball machines anyone?!). The food is high quality and tasty and with the vast beer and bottled soda selection, there is something for everybody. I do think the location is certainly a difficult hurdle to overcome, and people’s tendency to stick with what’s familiar is a detriment to new businesses. For people offering armchair advice–hindsight is always 20/20, and I’m sure Joey and John have learned a lot on the way, but it doesn’t mean they mismanaged anything. I think there are a lot of factors that go into the making of a successful business, and we don’t need to try and place blame. I wish you both the best in future endeavors!

  13. Julie says:

    I was so upset to hear about your closure. I love you guys and the space and atmosphere you created. The service has been fantastic every time I’be gone. I hope the gofundme goes well. Pit Stop is our first choice when deciding to go out, and I recommend it to all my clients who ask about places to go in Burien, as well as taking friends and family whenever possible. I will really miss you and Pit Stop.

  14. EN says:

    We went in last night and heard they will be open for another few months! Horray! Everyone go enjoy a great meal & beer/cider.

  15. mark pitzner says:

    Sorry about your closure, as a former business owner in burien I know the inherent difficulties in running a business. I liked your place it was really nice and did everything possible to make it succeed. Retail is a fickle industry with a high failure rate in the first or second year. Knowing burien well there seems to some unexplainable bias towards 152nd st. which is totally unfair. Wishing you both much success in your future.

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