MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – As many small businesses struggle to keep their doors open, unfortunately some of them are facing their worst nightmare. Owner of Midland Beer Garden, Jorge Hernandez Jr., says he had no choice but to pack up his business.

“I’m really sad, this has been a big part of my identity for a long time,” said Hernandez. “You know, having to let go of it, it’s like losing a part of yourself.”

Hernandez said the idea to open a beer garden fostered while traveling around the nation. He visited his first beer garden in New York City, where he met people from all over the world. From then on, it was his mission to come back to his hometown of Midland and create a space for people to meet.

“Being able to have those interactions with so many kinds of people. It’ll be missed,” said Hernandez.

The Midland Beer Garden opened its doors in September of 2014. He says the last five years have been an unforgettable journey. Hernandez and his business partner, Adrian Arellano, started out with just eight taps of beer with a 50 person capacity. The business has since grown to sell more than 70 different kinds of beer and host 500 people. 

“Unfortunately, this wouldn’t make it past another winter, not without the savings that I usually have,” explained Hernandez “Yeah, we gave it our all. Just wasn’t enough… Wasn’t enough.”

The coronavirus shutdowns have forced Hernandez out of business. He says this year was supposed to be his profitable year, but due to the pandemic, he missed the opportunity to operate during his best months.

“We were the oasis in the middle of a dry area,” stated General Manager, Adrian Arellano. “We segregated ourselves from the city so people could drive out here, and literally feel like they came to an oasis. That’s what I remember most is what we brought to this town and what people have said we brought to this town.”

As the two look forward, both say “thank you” to their regular customers and to those who have supported their business venture along the way. 

“Thanks for liking my idea and helping me grow it over the years,” said Hernandez. “It’s just been an honor for everything that we’ve done, from the people, to the staff, to our customers,” added Arellano.