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'It's devastating' | Gamlin Whiskey House, SubZero Vodka Bar close permanently

The owner told 5 On Your Side he's planning to file for bankruptcy

ST. LOUIS — Customers lined up outside Gamlin Whiskey House Friday night, many wearing masks, for the final curbside pickup.

Gamlin Whiskey House and SubZero Vodka Bar, both owned by Gamlin Restaurant Group, closed permanently Friday, hours after announcing they were going out of business because of the impact of COVID-19.

"We only decided on Monday that this was going to be a road that we could not follow. There's so many unknowns, and we just kept getting deeper and deeper into debt," owner Derek Gamlin said. 

Gamlin said he's planning to file for bankruptcy.

"Unfortunately, it was caused by, you know, restrictions being put on us by the government that we have no control over, and so that is a very hard pill to swallow. I'm not bitter about it because I know that it's all about being healthy. But there are people like me that are going to sacrifice their lives to keep people safe," Gamlin said. 

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The restaurants had been staples in the Central West End for more than a decade.

"Everyone that's reached out has been so supportive, and I want to thank everyone because this has been a very hard time for my family at I," Gamlin said. "It's devastating for my entire family."

Gamlin Restaurant Group closed another Central West End restaurant — 1764 Public House — earlier this year, but Gamlin said Gamlin Whiskey House and SubZero Vodka Bar were doing well before the pandemic.

"We were on a great trajectory for the year," he said. 

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