‘It’s not bringing me joy:’ inside the decision to close the Railroad Square Craft House

The Railroad Square Craft House will close in the coming months. The owner is putting family first.
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 6:54 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - An anchor tenant at Railroad Square will close in the upcoming months.

The owner of Railroad Square Craft House announced Wednesday plans to shut down the business nearly four years after it opened following Proof Brewing’s move down the street.

CEO Justine Spells spoke with WCTV Thursday about the difficult decision.

“Every day was a new battle and every time we turned around it was something new,” she said.

Spells, along with several other business partners, was working on opening the venue right after Hurricane Michael sent construction costs skyrocketing.

The debut of the restaurant only came a few months before the pandemic shuttered the service industry for months.

Ensuing labor and liquor shortages over the past couple of years added even more headaches, but Spells says the biggest problem was the seven-day work week taking a toll.

“It’s not bringing me joy, and it’s taking time away from my family,” she said. “I’m a single mom, and he’s special needs. I don’t have enough time with my son, and he’s getting to the age where he’s noticing that.”

Adam Kaye is a broker for Art District Real Estate. He’s working with Spells to find a new suitor to the space while ensuring a smooth transition.

“That space being vacant would really be an unfortunate situation and impact a number of tenant’s businesses,” she said. “But thankfully it’s not going to be the situation.”

The Craft House will stay open until a replacement tenant is lined up. Spells said she’ll help her 30 employees as best she can as this chapter in her life comes to a close. She called them “amazing,” and wants to make sure they’re taken care of.

“We love our community and we want to make sure that we aren’t doing anything that would impact them,” she said.

Happy Motoring, just down the road, will also be closing soon.

The owners announced on Facebook the bar would shut down at the end of September as they turn to a new venture. The Tally Mac Shack truck will still be headquartered at the Adams Street location.

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