ToyBox Bistro, two breweries closing due to pandemic struggles

WAFF 48's Romario Gardner reporting
Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 10:50 PM CDT

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The side effects of the pandemic are still being felt.

Three local businesses will close their doors permanently, after trouble rebounding from COVID.

ToyBox Bistro is one of the companies following seven years of serving the Rocket City with unique burgers complimented with “nerdy” decor.

“We had a good run,” said co-owner Michelle Timon. “But it’s time for us to say goodbye.”

Timon said the reasoning came down to a depleted labor force, the cost of goods, and the cost of insurance.

Another reason stems from the diminished lunch crowd after a majority of the Redstone Arsenal workforce started working from home.

“They’re not down the street like they used to be at lunchtime,” said Timon. “And that really affected this particular location’s lunch business.”

Timon said another reason includes a bevy of restaurants opening up around the city, in the neighborhood of 250 since 2020.

But in spite of the closure, Timon said she’s maintaining a positive outlook.

“We have some really great memories and if I keep talking I’m going to start crying,” said Timon. “But you know, we had a lot of fun doing this you know, being able to be creative and meet people literally from all over the world.”

Both the Fractal Brewing Project and the Salty Nut brewery are also closing citing the effects of the pandemic.

Jeff Plain hosts a running club every week that would sometimes meet up at either of the breweries.

After setting off on their final run, he said it was a bittersweet goodbye.

“We’ve been here at Fractal and this will be our 11th time running from here. We run numerous times from Salty Nut over the years. And it’s obviously sad the people that own and work in those locations become friends and we hate to see them leave. But we of course wish them well,” said Plain.

Both breweries will close on July 31, and The Toybox will close its doors on August 5.

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