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Winking Lizard permanently closing downtown Gateway location

The restaurant temporarily closed its doors in August, citing staffing challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.

Winking Lizard Tavern's Gateway location in downtown Cleveland will not be reopening.

Owner John Lane confirmed to 3News on Monday that the restaurant located at 811 Huron Road will be permanently closing. 

Previously, Winking Lizard Tavern announced that its Gateway restaurant would temporarily close following the Indians game on Sunday, August 29. 

In a post on Facebook from August, owners explained that the decision did not come easily and that those in charge felt they had no choice but to temporarily close the establishment, calling the move "unavoidable." 

"This is not an easy decision, but the current volume of business and the continuing challenges staffing our taverns, has made this unavoidable.  ALL of our Gateway employees have been offered positions in Winking Lizards that are convenient for them and their schedules. We have not set a date to reopen and do not anticipate reopening before year end," the post read.

Winking Lizard maintains several restaurants throughout Northeast Ohio, including locations in Bedford Heights, Avon, Independence, Lakewood, Brunswick, and Mayfield Heights. You can see all their locations here.

In the previous Facebook post, management added that the business was short on staff by more than 150 workers and had been struggling for some time due to COVID-19. The pandemic is also responsible for scaled back menus and drink choices, due to supply and labor shortages.

"We have an amazing group of employees on our team that are working long days to help fill in holes on our schedules," Winking Lizard Tavern added. "We are doing our very best to take care of our guests as quickly as possible. We know wait times have increased for take out and dine in, and hope you understand and treat our staff with patience and kindness. They are an amazing group!"

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