Staff Photo: Jason Braverman After struggling over the past year, Olde Towne Tavern & Grille in Suwanee closed its doors on Thursday. The business filed for Chapter 11 in June, but was unable to get its finances in order.
SUWANEE -- After struggling over the past year, Olde Towne Tavern & Grille in Suwanee closed its doors on Thursday.
General Manager Belinda Clark said the business, which has been open for seven years, filed for Chapter 11 in June, but was unable to get its finances in order.
She said a court-appointed locksmith locked the doors Thursday.
"I just found out about this (Thursday)," Clark said. "Someone with the trustees walked in and said, 'Turn everything off, tell everybody to go home.'"
Customers who stopped by for their usual lunch on Friday afternoon were greeted with a bankruptcy filing notice posted to the door.
"It was a great location, but the rent was extremely high," Clark said. "And we weren't able to negotiate the rent."
It's a shame, said Leslie Jacobs, a Suwanee resident who had stopped by Friday afternoon for lunch. When she noticed the sign at the door, she walked back toward her car with a puzzled look.
"I heard they weren't doing so well, but I had no idea it was that bad," Jacobs said. "I hate that. It was a good place to get lunch."
Clark said if more had felt that way, the situation might have been different.
"Sales had declined, and the economy didn't help," said Clark, who showed up at the restaurant Friday to load up perishable food for donation to local food pantries.
"Today, we're going to try to get rid of the food in the freezer and give it to people who need it, because I imagine the power will be cut off soon," Clark said.
The restaurant had more than 50 employees. It was not clear whether workers would be able to apply at other locations.
However, according to a note on the restaurant's website, the Suwanee location is "independently operated and is not associated in any way with the parent company doing business as Ole Towne Tavern & Grille."