The craft beverage maker, with a spacious production facility and taproom on John R, cites increasing rent as a reason for closing

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Just four years after opening, hip Hazel Park craft beverage producers at Cellarmen’s are closing the doors at the end of the month. 

Partner Dominic Calzetta said the cider-, beer- and mead-makers will have a final day of business on July 27. The 12,000-square-foot production facility and tasting room, situated in a former lumber business, often hosted comedy and rock shows and was filled with eclectic art work. It opened in 2015.

"Everyone's been supportive from our customers to the city, but when things start to not make sense you've got to look at it," he said.

Calzetta, who calls the closing "an incredibly difficult decision," cited distribution struggles, the untimely death of one of their founding partners and said their landlord raised the rent exponentially since they opened. 

"It started at like $2,800 and went up to $5,000 and then they wanted $7,500," he said. 

He said he and his partners tried to find another location down the street, but it ultimately didn't pan out and they've decide to close instead. 

The strip of John R in Hazel Park where Cellarmen's lives has seen a bit of a resurgence in the past few years with the addition of award-winning, chef-driven restaurant Mabel Gray, plus other cool businesses such as multifaceted restaurant Joebar and dive bar Kozy Lounge, which recently got a shot in the arm with new owners.

Cellarmen's was known for its small staff, including many dog-loving bearded guys (it was not uncommon to see somebody's rescue pup behind the bar). Patrons would sip easy-drinking lager or pineapple cider at the bar or long picnic-style tables. There was even a velvet throne for those feeling extra regal with their ginger and lime mead. 

This is the second high-profile craft brewer in southern Oakland County to close. Axle Brewing Co. closed its doors in Ferndale at the end of last month. 

In a press release about the end of Cellarman's, partner Ian Radogost-Givens says the team felt supported by the city of Hazel Park, the industry and "fiercely loyal customers."

"That is why we did this, for you, the people who wanted something different than the rest, to buck standards and as we said from the beginning 'no concentrates, no artificial flavors, no (bull)," he said in the release sent to The Detroit News. 

Cellarmen's, which usually keeps hours of Wednesday-Friday evenings and afternoons and evenings on weekends, will be open through July 27. Comedy shows are scheduled for Saturday and July 18. 

While things wind down, Calzetta says they'll be selling all the artwork and brewing equipment. Those interested in something specific can call them at (586) 413-4206. 

Cellarmen's is at 24310 John R in Hazel Park. Visit facebook.com/cellarmens

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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