Underground Pub and Grill closes business

Carbondale’s bar scene now has one less option.

The Underground Pub and Grill in Carbondale will not continue business after a temporary closing three weeks ago.  The owners will rent out the property to other prospective businesses interested in the location, co-owner John Karayanis said.

Karayanis, a Carbondale resident, said the Underground decided to close for good after a brief hiatus resulting from a death in the family.

“After closing for three weeks, we were not motivated to run the business any longer,” he said.

Karayanis said they will negotiate with other businesses looking for a space to use. He said they are not looking for any suitors in particular, but it would make sense for a restaurant to take its place.

“There is a cocktail lounge and a restaurant area,” he said. “All the equipment is there.”

Karayanis said he wants to make sure the future business owner who occupies the space understands the importance of the customer. He said they need to know how to run a business.

“Whoever opens up a business needs to put the customer at the top,” he said. “The customer is the foundation.”

Although the prospect of owning a new space might be exciting for some businesses, some people are disappointed by the change.

Logan Fox, a senior from Downs studying speech communication, said he enjoyed going to Underground. He said he will miss the pub’s atmosphere and food.

“It had the best burger in town,” Fox said. “I wish I could have eaten there more.”

City Manager Kevin Baity said despite the restaurant’s closing, there are no signs of any oncoming economic disparity in Carbondale.He said the situation at Underground is an outlier and is not a sign of more closings to come.

“Contrary to what happened at Underground, new businesses are opening,” he said. “New restaurants are opening.”

Baity said he believes, despite a nationwide financial crisis, Carbondale business is not in bad shape.  He said businesses are steady in the area, and it is not an issue to replace businesses that can no longer afford to stay open.

“We seem to be pretty stable,” he said. “We lose some, but then gain some.”

While the Underground is looking for new businesses to take its place, Baity said Carbondale expects a growing number of restaurants to make their homes in the city.

“For every one closing, I can point to four or five others that will be opening in the oncoming weeks,” he said.

 

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