The Boston institution is shuttering after two decades in business.

By Maria Yagoda
August 20, 2020
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As the coronavirus pandemic continues, independent bars and restaurants are closing in record numbers. With little government support, even high-profile establishments are barely holding on (if they haven't already closed), and one of the most famous—the Cheers Replica Bar—has announced it's closing its doors.

The Boston bar, which is located in Faneuil Hall Marketplace, is a replica of the bar in the sitcom Cheers and has been open for two decades. On Tuesday, CEO Markus Ripperger told CBS Boston that the bar would close on August 30, due to financial struggles brought on by the pandemic.

Cheers founder Tom Kershaw said in a press release, “I have faced, and pulled through, many kinds of downturns and upticks in the economy within the last 20 years Cheers Replica Bar at Faneuil Hall Marketplace has been in business."

Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal

"Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with no assistance from our landlord," he continued, "has made this current challenge insurmountable.”

Cheers, which aired from 1982 to 1993, is one of the most popular sitcoms of all time, and the Cheers Replica Bar has long been one of Boston's liveliest tourist hotspots. (The bar that the show is based on is located in Beacon Hill and is still operational.) As Boston Magazine put it in a headline, "If Cheers Can’t Survive COVID-19, What Boston Bars Can?"

And it sounds like Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which houses several vendors, isn't in great shape, either. Kershaw told Boston Magazine, "The whole place looks like it’s closed down."

In late July, Yelp released findings that 60% of American restaurant closures since March 1 have been permanent and that the second wave of closures is inevitable as businesses struggle to pay rent while operating at a small fraction of their capacities.

Projections for the second half of 2020 are bleak. In June, the Independent Restaurant Coalition issued a report suggesting that 85% of independent restaurants could permanently close by the end of the year.