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La Mesa's Fourpenny House Will Shutter After This Weekend

December 18, 2019

After less than 2 years in business, Fourpenny House in La Mesa will shutter after this weekend's service as ownership hopes to sell the combination Scottish pub, restaurant and brewhouse.

Opened by Peter Soutowood in late March 2018, Fourpenny House was a scratch-made Scottish restaurant with an onsite two-and-a-half barrel brewhouse managed by head brewer Sam Olson. We recently received word that the business at 8323 La Mesa Boulevard was listed for sale for around $275k, and ownership announced the restaurant would close after service this Sunday, December 22. Check out the full announcement below:

"Hello Fourpenny fans and guests! It's with mixed emotions I announce the end of Fourpenny House. It has been such an honor to serve our community, which is not just La Mesa locals but people who love Scotland, pubs, wood fires crackling in a fireplace, stone walls, hearty food, and warm hospitality. I have been so heartened to see my small idea brought to life by my incredible staff, and then that torch passed to our guests, who come in to get engaged, to celebrate anniversaries, to laugh, to break bread, and to live.

Why, you wonder, does a place so regularly busy shut down? The answers include the high cost of doing business in California, in making hand-made food, in serving to tables and not from a register up front, to building a brewpub from scratch, and to capitalizing a startup so it has a chance to learn to fly. It also involves the Village of La Mesa as it evolves from a sleepy retirement community to a vibrant walkable destination. We are proud to have been part of that change but leading the charge exposes you to higher risk.

Practically speaking, we are transitioning our space to a new owner, yet to be determined. There is no set timeline for this but expect it to be quick. If you have gift certificates, use them. If you have growlers, fill them. If you have hunger and thirst, there is still a place for you at Fourpenny House.

As I sit here with a glass of our new Garrison Brothers bourbon barrel-aged Stout du Monde, I am awed at the incredible quality of product and experience we've produced. Our brewer, Sam Olson, is one of the most talented people I've ever met, and you should follow her wherever she goes to drink her beer because you will not be disappointed. Her Minnesota modesty cannot conceal a talent for brewing alchemy, turning leaden ingredients into gold. Our general manager Matt is one of those rare types who will work tirelessly, answer the call for help every single time, offer up a smile, and wave away credit where it is due. He pairs Irish hospitality with a Texan heart. You probably were served by John, who can stand in the halls of service as a role model. He will always be anticipating your needs, like an English valet with graciousness and charm that's almost extinct but oh so needed in these times. Scott, our lanky beer ambassador who built the lights over the booths, the flight holders with your beers, the check presenters, and labored with concrete in the wood-fired oven, was our first employee and has been the standard bearer for our brand, proclaiming its value during the weekly farmer's market. Listen to Scott--he will tell you the best beers, the best spots, and will be the best company. Amanda, the impossibly happy server, radiates kindness that gives you hope for the future. Dena, our crafty server and decorator, whistles a nameless tune and to watch her work is to see mastery and confidence. Nikki, who flows behind the bar with a Buddha-like calm, and Max, one of the most cheerful and pleasant souls to pull a tap handle, display the very best craft in bartending. Ronda, our new cheerful line and prep cook, fills our House with home-cooked food and hospitality. Ralph and Tommy, your kindness and service make our kitchen a joy.

There have been so many more who have made Fourpenny House a loving and real place with their hard work and passion. This has been a different kind of business that has reverberated in our hearts and, as we've seen, in yours as well. Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve you, with handmade food, breads, beer, spirits, and the warmth of our hearts and hearth."