Buoy Beer back up and running less than 2 weeks after building collapse

Owners find temporary home for restaurant in downtown Astoria
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 12:49 PM PDT
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ASTORIA, Ore. (KPTV) - It’s back to business at Buoy Beer in Astoria.

The same week of a serious roof collapse at their brewery on June 14, the managers were scoping out a new location.

“We were just like, ‘Let’s drive around town and see what places are for lease,’” restaurant manager Katie Shaw said. “I don’t know who suggested the (Astoria Food Hub), but we knew this was vacant.”

Shaw said they were prepared to think on their feet. That’s because of the last two years of changing COVID-19 restrictions.

“We closed for a couple months, then we had to pivot and figure out how to handle all the COVID things and all the state restrictions,” she said.

Management knew they needed to come up with a new plan to keep the business running.

Co-founder David Kroening said after talking to the owners at the Astoria Food Hub, they were able to get them in quickly. Eleven days after they were forced to close, they had a new location pouring beers for customers.

“First and foremost, how do we keep people working?” Kroening said. “We’ve got to open up a new spot. Kind of secondary is, we have a lot of customers and people (saying), ‘Hey, how can we come support you? We just love having a beer with you guys.’”

Kroening said it was a scary feeling when he first learned of the collapse inside the brewery.

“At first, we didn’t think anybody was in there but just making sure there was nobody in there and that everyone was safe,” he said. “That was everybody’s priority right away. Pretty quickly we confirmed that, which was great news.”

Shaw said they want to continue to be there for the community, which has helped the brewery grow since it opened in 2014.

“Whether it’s us here or in some vacant warehouse pouring beers, we’re going to make it as Buoy as we could because it’s about the people,” she said.

Buoy Beer is also using mobile canning machines because the area where that is normally done is also affected by the collapse.

Its new restaurant location has also added most of its regular menu items. It is open 7 days a week from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

All of this available for now, but Kroening is eager to return to the place the company calls home.

“When that building came available, being on the water and having the sea lions under the building and all those things that people think of ended up being part of what people think of when they see Buoy on the shelf,” he said.

Kroening said it’s still too early to tell when the original brewery might open back up. There are many repairs and safety steps that need to be finished.