I wish this post could be about many other things.

In February, I was composing one talking about the distillery, the new location, plans for the future, and how amazing 2020 had kicked off. I was in the process of looking for a new building to buy and starting to set down plans for the future beyond this location and keeping AFK going for a long, long time.

Regrettably, this is not that post. We put it off due to the stress of last week. But, November the 28th will be the last official day of operation of the Tavern. It’s the end of our 10 year lease, and we really couldn’t in good faith push on. We had the choice of rolling the dice now and bankrupt. Or taking our licks and having a chance to reopen in the future.

In a way, this is a triumph; we did ten years; we’re walking at the end of our lease, not going bankrupt. Physical location aside, our goal starting out was to foster a community and be a community center. We did that! We did that in spades. Cry for what we’re losing but look at what we have! One of the most amazing communities ever. Just wall to wall decent people who helped make this dream of mine reality, a place where I didn’t feel alone. Where so many of you didn’t feel alone anymore, and that is AFK, not a location, not a silly menu…that community is what has and will always be the most important aspect of this entire adventure.

To the people who’ve shown up every week to help us limp across this finish line, thank you. The gaming groups who showed up for the pods, the new friends in the bar, the every-week-take-out people, the folks who always order delivery, and the everyday regulars who never really left us. Seriously thank you. I often thank many of you in person, but it’s worth restating here. It’s been rough running the Tavern like this, and your humor, patience, and attitudes made it so I could get up and do this day after day.

But if you didn’t manage to make it in or grab some take-out, or you still don’t feel comfortable with it. We’re not going to hold in against you. We’re not ourselves right now; AFK is a ghost under the restrictions. It blocked us from all the things that made us…us…so we’re pretty much not ourselves and haven’t been since March.

We still have plans for the next year… they’re just different now. We’ll be posting theme menus you can make yourself, we’ll be running events sans location, and much more. You can check out this link if you’d like the list I’ll be going into in a separate post. There is also a Patreon if you’d like to get some drink recipes out of me. We’ll have fun with this afterlife.

Please don’t go freaking out and pointing fingers. We came to this choice here ourselves. Sure, a lot of things outside our control dragged us down here. But no bake sale, t-shirt, or event would have changed any of this. If you’re into hindsight, check out our Twitter because there has been a lot there. But this post isn’t about that, and to be frank, and I am so done being angry at things I have no control over.

In closing, here at my home, crying while typing… I’m still excited about the future. But even I will have a hole in my heart till I can walk in a place that accepts me again. Thanks for reading. Hopefully, I’ll see you all again.

-Kayla