Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant has been brewing suds and serving food on the second-floor of 1516 Sansom St. since December 1999. But the brewpub's owner, unable to reach a new deal with his landlords, is closing the bar on Halloween and reopening in a new location next year.
"We'll still be within the city limits, but not in Center City," said Curt Decker, owner of Nodding Head, known for its wood interior, comfortable booths, unique brews and dozens of bobble heads.
"It is not going to be far," said Decker, who was willing to give only a few details on the new space. “I've always been attracted to being in a neighborhood. I like that feeling of inclusion, being part of something."
The bar owner said he decided to move the business after he couldn’t work out a lease with the owners of the Sansom Street property.
Negotiations were complicated since Nodding Head spreads out over three storefronts, which are owned by two different groups -- downstairs neighbors Sherman Brothers Shoes and Oyster House.
“It just became apparent we weren't going to be able to work things out,” Decker said. “When I got the renewals moving forward, I was priced out.”
“One of the landlords has been great and super supportive and the other guy," Decker hesitated, "I think they have a plan for the space."
Decker wouldn’t elaborate on which landlord “priced” Nodding Head out.
“It certainly didn't come from the Shermans,” said Ken Sherman, who manages 1518-1522 Sansom St., where Sherman Brothers Shoes is located. "This is not something we wanted to have happen.”
"You are dealing with two landlords and one property," Sherman said. “It is a unique situation when you have two different landlords."
David Mink, owner of 1514-1516 Sansom St. where Oyster House is located, didn’t return calls for comment.
Relocated Nodding Head -- including moving all of the brewing equipment -- will take several months, said Decker, who added the brewpub's concept would remain similar.
“We are going to tweak it more to fit what the market is now, but we are still going to do the beers that people love," he said.
The new location will be on the ground-floor -- an exciting change for Decker, who said he struggled to draw attention to the flight of steps leading to Nodding Head's second-floor location on Sansom Street.
As Decker and his staff head into the final two weeks before Nodding Head shuts down, the pub owner said he hopes that fans of Nodding Head won’t let them go without a goodbye.
“People should stop in and say hi before we are outta here.”