Aly Sanguily and Chase Engel, married owners and operators of Batch Provisions, announced to patrons that their establishment, one of Carbondale’s most beloved watering holes, will be closing its doors on Nov. 4.
Batch moved in at 358 Main Street, a building that’s over 110 years old, in 2017. Following the success of a Roaring Fork Beer Company tasting room near the production facility on Dolores Way, the downtown location became a First Friday staple and favorite year-round nook for locals and tourists alike.
Engels later sold Roaring Fork Beer Company and the couple expanded their menu at Batch to include local wines and spirits, a wider variety of beers and fancy mocktails. They also put Engel’s culinary savvy to use crafting delectable thin-crust pizzas with ingredients from nearby farms.
Batch fostered a family-friendly, community-driven atmosphere with pop-up shows for all kinds of creators and other frequent events. Their inspired decor combined local art with vintage items for a homey and authentic feel.
News of the boutique bar’s imminent closure came shortly after Sanguily and Engel were notified that their lease would not be renewed. “We were reminded that our lease was coming to an end, and that the building was going up for sale,” Sanguily told The Sopris Sun.
While Sanguily and her husband are relinquishing the space, she said that the business is for sale as a turn-key operation. “We do have several local people that are interested in that,” she assured.
Along with the business space, Sanguily and her family rented a residential apartment upstairs. “Our lease is separate for upstairs,” she explained, protected until May with the possibility of extending it for another year, “but it’s all subject to change if the building sells.”
Prior to being told their lease would not be renewed, Batch faced the affordability crisis affecting employee retention.
“I do feel like we’re in a pretty big crisis right now,” said Sanguily, stating that over a dozen of her staff have moved to other states in the past year. “It’s worrisome for the town; I’m worried that we’re going to lose all our unique spots.”
Over the past six years, Sanguily has seen it become more difficult to run a business in Carbondale. Not only are rents and costs rising, but would-be patrons are priced out due to their own financial challenges. “Our locals can’t support us year-round because they’re struggling too,” she said.
“It’s kind of a treat to go out and have a nice drink with a friend and that’s not something our locals can do all the time.” To make up for that, Batch has always opened its doors to artists and nonprofits, “to give them space; give them a platform.” This will continue right through their final month of operation.
Fans of Batch have the rest of October and one final First Friday to raise a toast to Sanguily and Engel in gratitude for the community that they’ve fostered. “We do hope people come to see us one last time,” said Sanguily, promising to “keep it positive” and “have as much fun as we can.”
The family, with a daughter at Crystal River Elementary School, plans to remain a part of Carbondale. “Our goal is to stay here,” said Sanguily, “I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire,” including contract work for Carbondale Arts, 5Point Film and Field 2 Fork Kitchen. “Even business owners may have to have several jobs, just like our staff have to have several jobs to make ends meet,” she reflected.
“I’m grateful to live in Carbondale and super grateful to have run a business here … I think we just need to address the crisis that’s going on and make it better.” Otherwise, “At what point are those makers and dreamers and artists not here anymore?”