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Bierkraft Is Closed for Good With No Explanation From Owners, Employees Say

 Bierkraft at 191 Fifth Ave. in Park Slope closed suddenly with no explanation from the owners, employees say.
Bierkraft at 191 Fifth Ave. in Park Slope closed suddenly with no explanation from the owners, employees say.
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DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht

PARK SLOPE — Bierkraft is closed for good and has auctioned off its equipment, but the owners still won't say why it went out of business.

The craft beer store and sandwich shop at 191 Fifth Ave. shuttered suddenly on June 14, but posted a message on Instagram saying the closure was for renovations.

However employees were told that same day in an email message with the subject line "YOU ARE FREE!" that Bierkraft was gone forever.

"Bierkraft is closed. We are out of business," said the message, sent by one of the store's co-owners and shared with DNAinfo New York. The three-sentence email instructed employees on how to get their final paychecks, but didn't explain why the store closed.

"We were left out in the cold without any notice," an employee who had worked at Bierkraft for two years told DNAinfo.

The staff member was scheduled to work on June 15 but got a phone call shortly before his shift telling him not to come to work.

The employee, who recently signed up for unemployment benefits, said co-owners Richard and Daphne Scholz never said why they decided to pull the plug on the 13-year-old business.

Last week the store held an auction to sell off its equipment and handed out final paychecks, said the employee, who didn't want his name used.

Richard Scholz did not respond to several requests for comment. A member of the Scholz family at the store on Tuesday morning declined to comment.

Bierkraft's departure left some fans heartbroken. One longtime customer told DNAinfo New York he planned to hold a candlelight vigil outside the shop, and another placed a "growler memorial" in front of the closed roll gate.

"Walking by to find your gates closed has me feeling that the love of my life packed up and left without even saying goodbye,” one emotional customer wrote on the store’s Instagram page.

Others slammed the shop for closing with no notice and no explanation to customers who had shelled out money at the business for years.

"The owners should have the courtesy to at least let us know what is going on," wrote one patron. "I bought a gift certificate for my husband for [Father's Day] last weekend and now this. Answers, please." Another regular complained that she wasn't able to return her Bierkraft growler and claim the deposit.

But some said the passionate reactions were overblown.

"A marginally good beer store in Brooklyn that sold mediocre sandwiches is closing and people are acting like the Dodgers are moving again," tweeted one observer.