Leesville Taproom Closes After Being Opened Since 2008 

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Leesville Taproom, located off Strickland, is a hot spot around the Leesville area with great staff, and a wide variety of food. (Photo Courtesy of Haley Lamme)

Leesville Taproom is a fan favorite, family-owned restaurant that’s the spot for many Leesville students after game days, dinner nights with their family and friends, and overall a cozy environment. 

As of January 28, 2024 Leesville Taproom was permanently shut down, due to the owners having personal problems at home nothing else could have been done. 

Leesville Taproom management apologizes for the short notice and thanks their employees for their hard work and commitment to the restaurant. 

Kailee Pieno worked at Leesville Taproom as a bartender and manager from when she was 21 up until the age of 29. After working at the restaurant for eight years she grew up with the regular customers that would come in and out of the restaurant daily.

“These people came to my wedding all the way in Tennessee. Obviously we all care so much about each other and have made this tight-knit community there,” said Pieno, former employee at Leesville Taproom. 

Pieno mentions how management was poorly organized and most of their regulars could not even put a face on the restaurant’s upper management. “If they [Management] would have worked half as hard as myself and other staff members did, then I just don’t really feel like we would be in this position,” said Pieno. 

Many other staff members felt that the way upper management informed employees of the restaurant shutting down was extremely disrespectful, failing to take accountability for the outcome, almost blaming it on their family’s health situations at home. 

Employees were expecting another week at work as the schedule was released that previous Sunday afternoon, but the next day a message was received that Leesville Taproom was permanently shut down. 

“I know restaurants can shut down very quickly, but employees’ personal belongings were still in the restaurant. We could have sold until we sold out of liquor, kegs that were nearly full at the line, a lot of food in the walk-in, and I know for a fact that it all went bad. It could have gone to a food bank, there are starving people in the world”, said Pieno.

“Let us help you, let the bartenders go in there, have one last hoorah, one last celebration for all of the customers, I know a lot of this is a money problem, I know this could definitely generate some money for us because now we are so blindsided that we lost our jobs,” said Pieno.        

Halloween 2022 at the Leesville Taproom. (Photo Courtesy of Haley Lamme)

Many employees were left uneasy and frustrated with this outcome. 

Leesville Taproom was full of bar regulars, families that would come in at least once a week, and brunch regulars on Sunday mornings. 

Former employees and customers will miss the many memories held in this restaurant. 

Kailee and her co-workers outside with a few bar regulars in 2020. (Photo used with Permission of Kailee Pieno)

Leesville students would attend Leesville Taproom after football games, basketball games, and events. Students laughed, talked, and made very memorable memories. 

“I really liked getting a chicken quesadilla and a cookie skillet of course…. I’m really sad [about Leesville Taproom closing], I’ve been going there since my sophomore year like we would go after basketball games or after football games and like I just have so many good memories there, it is going to be really sad to see it go,” said Ixy Mejia, senior on the dance team at Leesville Road High School. 

Leesville Taproom also sponsored the football team. The restaurant would provide some pre-game meals and cater food to the concession stand during football games. 

Leesville Road High School football team at an event over Spring in 2023 that was sponsored by Leesville Taproom. (Photo Used with Permission of The Leesville Road HS Varsity Football Team).

The football team will miss the convenience of this partnership very much. 

“Leesville Taproom getting shut down is something that Leesville people and people that go to the high school are not happy to see and something that people will be frustrated with. They have provided a lot of fun memories for people, not only for people that go to Leesville right now, but alumni that have been to Leesville”, said John Dooley, senior on the football team at Leesville Road High School. 

Not only will Leesville students miss their local taproom but also many families that have considered this place one of their favorite locations to go out to eat. 

“For example like we used to go, we go there after games, cheerleaders and even players after football and high school basketball games and it is just a fun place to commiserate with your buddies and have a good time,” said Dooley. 

“For a couple of years Leesville taproom and the football team have been working together on helping with the concessions and they also have helped a couple of times with sponsoring our pre-game meals. Pre-season in the Spring we will have all of these families come out for an event and they [Leesville Taproom] will do food stands and stuff like that for the community which is pretty cool,” said Dooley.

Leesville Taproom made a big impact on the Leesville community. Their partnership with this restaurant offered both Leesville High and Leesville Taproom with many opportunities and success. Their contributions to the Leesville community will be remembered.

1 COMMENT

  1. My god! Real reporting at long last and it came from a high school paper!!! Amazing job – you have a bright future!

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