LINCOLN — The owners of Lincoln’s Robbers Cave are working to reopen the popular cave system following the abrupt closure of Blue Blood Brewing Co. last week.

“It’s a landmark,” said Sam Manzitto Sr., part of Robbers Cave LLC, which owns the property. “We’re working hard to try and get that cave reopened to the public.”

Manzitto said the ownership group is hoping the cave will be open within the next week. In the meantime, the group is in talks with other breweries about taking over the restaurant and brewery space above the cave that was left by Blue Blood.

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The brewery suddenly closed its doors last week following a lawsuit brought by the ownership group saying that Blue Blood and its owner, Brian Podwinski, owed unpaid rent. A Lancaster County District Court judge ordered the brewery to vacate the space.

The brewery announced its closure in a Facebook post that has since been deleted, along with the rest of Blue Blood’s page: “While we’ve been working toward a sale of the brewery for the past few weeks, our landlord has unexpectedly shut our doors. We sincerely apologize to our employees who have not been given sufficient opportunity to look for new employment as we had planned while negotiating through the sale,” the post read. “We thank you, Lincoln, for eight years of friendship and support, and encourage you to visit your local taprooms and support your neighborhood businesses.”

The 5,600-square-foot Robbers Cave, which consists of man-made tunnels dug out of Dakota sandstone, has long served as an attraction for Lincoln residents. The cave walls are covered in etchings made by generations of visitors, and one popular cave legend holds that famous outlaw Jesse James used the tunnels as a hideout.

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