TACOMA - The coronavirus pandemic and its toll on small businesses have claimed another victim: The Swiss, a popular downtown Tacoma restaurant, bar, and live music venue, is closing after 27 years.
Owners Jack and Carole Ann McQuade announced the closure on social media two days ago.
They told Q13 News that several factors led to this decision, but the COVID-19 pandemic was the biggest and final blow.
The couple had planned to sell the bar in January, but the pandemic hit before the closing date and the deal eventually fell through.
"The Swiss is more than just four rooms, it is a living, breathing entity that has touched and been touched by so many people," the owners said in an Instagram post announcing the closure. "People found their true loves here, their life long friends, celebrated birthdays, babies, marriages, retirements, art, food and music, everything that makes life worth living."
The limited capacity for bars and restaurants - along with no live music allowed - was too much for The Swiss to overcome, the owners said. What's worse, they said, is that downtown Tacoma has become a virtual ghost town since the pandemic started.
Hotels are empty, conventions are canceled, students aren't attending classes at the university, and the museum district has just begun to reopen - also with restrictions.
"You all have given us a beautiful, unforgettable life, we are grateful beyond measure," the owners said. "Thank you for an amazing 27 years."