KITCHENER -- Abe Erb Brewing Company has announced it's closing for good.

The brewery and restaurant first opened its doors in Waterloo back in 2014. In the years since, it had expanded to serve Kitchener, Ayr and Guelph.

"After six incredible years together, we regretfully announce the full and immediate closure of Abe Erb Brewing Company," a statement from the company posted online read in part.

"Challenging circumstances have prevailed and we are unable to move forward as a business."

Named after one of the founders of Waterloo, Abraham Erb, the brewery offered homage to the region's Mennonite roots, offering beers with names like Buggy Whip IPA and Men In Night stout.

The company said it was thankful to be part of a community that came together around local businesses, "even in the most uncertain times."

"We close this chapter in Abe Erb's history forever grateful for the fabulous guests, wonderful friends, dedicated staff, and beautiful partnerships which together have given us the best reasons to raise a glass in celebration time after time, year after year," the company's statement read in part.

"From all of us to all of you, thank you."

Hundreds of people took to social media to react to the closure.

"Extremely sorry to hear this, always enjoyed the visits there," said Facebook user Krista Skanes.

"I'm so sad. I wish we could have been able to support you more as a community," said another user, Theresa Ullyot. "This, you, are a big loss and we will feel this with you."

The brewery is the latest in a number of closures to hit Uptown Waterloo.

"It's over 10 that we know of," said Tracy van Kalsbeek with the Uptown Waterloo BIA. "Not always do businesses tell us that they are closing and moving too, but we do try to keep track as best as we can."

Chainsaw, a popular local student bar, closed in April.

Music venue and dance club Starlight followed suit in July, saying capacity regulations during the pandemic made the business no longer feasible.

Patent Social closed in September and My-Thai closed a few weeks ago.

"It's sad to see," said Alnoor Keshvani, owner of Loop Clothing. "There have been a fair number of businesses that have closed since the start of the pandemic. No doubt it does leave an opportunity for new things and new opportunities to come in, but it's definitely sad to see those businesses go."

There are businesses moving into the area as well.

Vince Dabin moved his record store, Orange Monkey, into a new location in July.

"The walk-in traffic is awesome," Dabin said. "A lot of people are coming in."

Dabin said the move paid off to keep the business going during difficult economic times.

The Uptown

Officials with the Uptown Waterloo BIA said supporting local is more important than ever.

"Sharing the love online, doing positive Google reviews, buying gift cards, buying Uptown dollar, we have seen a lot of that and we keep asking keep that going," van Kalsbeek said.

Officials hope to see more business move into the area in the coming months.