MAPLEWOOD, Mo. ( -- A long-time bar and grill that's said to be the "cheers" of Maplewood is closing.

The owner of Cousin Hugo's Bar and Grill said he can't continue to stay open during the pandemic. A simple handwritten sign is posted on the front door saying "closed due to COVID-19."

Hugo's opened in 1938 and has been a go-to watering hole for customers from Maplewood, Brentwood, Richmond Heights, Shrewsbury and Clayton. The business did receive some money from the federal CARES Act but that was described as merely a band-aid solution.

"The restrictions have made it very difficult in our business environment to maintain business," owner Tommy Bahn said.

Bahn shut down for three months and re-opened in mid-July but he says restricted hours and occupancy are too much to keep the business afloat.

"The cost of doing business is somewhat static. It's all predicated on volume and if you don't have the volume because people aren't coming out, your'e restricted," Bahn said. 

Bahn has owned Hugo's for more than 30 years and the bar has served generation after generation of customers, some saying it's the kind of place that makes up the fabric of  a community.

"This is a social gathering house," Bahn said. "It meant a lot to people."

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