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Town Run Tap House and Community Pub announces permanent closure

By Staff | Apr 24, 2020

Town Run Tap House and Community Pub has been the town's central band performance space for a number of years. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — For many local residents, Town Run Tap House and Community Pub has become the perfect location for casual events and community gatherings. Band performances, craft festivals, art shows, retirement parties, Elvis Presley tributes, lectures, sock hops, a farmers market, orchestra performances, trivia quizzes, community action groups and more have found a home at the local restaurant, since its founding in 2014.

But not anymore.

“I am sending a message today from my home, letting you know that Town Run will unfortunately not be surviving the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Town Run Tap House and Community Pub co-owner Jessie Shanholltz, who owns and run the business with her husband, Todd Cotgreave, in an announcement on Monday afternoon.

Cotgreave is currently running in the 2020 election for the office of Shepherdstown mayor against mayoral incumbent Jim Auxer.

The business, while a popular events location for many in the area, has experienced a series of difficult events over the last few years. In Dec. 2018, burglars broke into the business and stole its security system and all of the money within the building, including the contents of its ATM and safe. Many community members did what they could to help the business recover from this financially devastating experience over the next couple of months, by donating or raising money for the business. However, the total amount of the funds was never recouped, and over the next two years, the business had to cut back on its hours of operation to make staying open still possible.

Community fundraisers, such as the Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center's annual Sock Hop, will be losing a home, following the permanent closure of Town Run Tap House and Community Pub. Tabitha Johnston

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent forced closure of local restaurants’ physical locations, in spite of the continuing sale of its food and beverages through curbside takeout, led Shanholltz and Cotgreave to make the decision to change the business’ closure from “temporary” to “permanent.”

“We were on the ropes financially before this crisis. I’ve done my due diligence and explored possible funding options, etcetera, and the bottom line is that it just isn’t going to happen,” Shanholltz said of the business reopening.

“I am not great at expressing sentimentality, so I will simply say I am sad, and I will miss you. I hope that the community we experienced while Town Run was here had a positive impact and that you can carry a little bit of what we shared with you,” Shanholltz said. “To everyone who made this happen, my employees and friends old and new, I am deeply grateful and thankful. You are all saints and deserve every good thing. Thank you.”