One of the foundational restaurants on North Park’s craft beer corridor, operating since 2013 in the the highly-visible corner space at 30th Street and North Park Way that housed The Linkery before it, Waypoint Public just went on the market and may be shutting its doors soon.
Owner John Pani says that saying goodbye to the seven-year-old restaurant is a painful prospect, but he and his partners ultimately decided that the current restaurant climate, combined with the uncertainty of the industry’s future, have made continuing on untenable.
While limited to outdoor service on its patio, Pani says the 5,000-square-foot eatery has been earning just five to ten percent of normal sales. He tells Eater that he went from carrying no debt, pre-COVID, to carrying a significant amount of debt seemingly overnight. Remarking that the market had been trending away from concepts like Waypoint — full-service, mid-scale gastropubs — even before the pandemic, Pani predicts that we’ll see similar models go under before things improve. He shared that he’ll keep Waypoint open until a new tenant is found, saying that the lease, which includes full liquor and a recently-acquired entertainment license, could be a boon for someone with more capital to ride out the coronavirus chaos.
Pani, who also owns Hotel Vyvant in Little Italy, has no plans to sell or close Park & Rec, his University Heights bar, and says that he’s still actively looking for other projects in the hospitality space.
Next Wave Commercial’s Nate Benedetto is representing the sale and said, ”It’s obviously a very challenging and devastating time for local restaurants. However, the market is still active and restaurant conversions can take many months. We are seeing a number of operators choosing to use this slow period for construction in order to hopefully hit the ground running at full speed in 2021.”