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Suwanee restaurant shuts its doors

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.

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.

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Staff Photo: Frank Reddy Belinda Clark, general manager of Olde Towne Tavern & Grille, gathers frozen goods from the freezer Friday afternoon. Restaurant staff plans to donate its remaining food to a local shelter after a judge ordered the restaurant to close on Thursday following financial struggles.

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."

Comments

SurelyNot 1 year, 8 months ago

I hate it when a great community business goes under. We all owe it to our neighbors and communities to support them with our business. When you have a great place like this, why go to Highlands, etc.? Love Highlands and go there, but I really feel like we all ought to try to support these locals as much as possible. And for these out of town, out of state, and at times out of country owners of these developments, how does it help you to have rents that are so out of line that the businesses YOU need have to shut their doors? Lots of examples of that in metro Atl. Oh, I forgot. You get a gov't bailout...you get to right them off. They get to start life over.

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CD 1 year, 8 months ago

Prepare for the payroll tax jump to take a further bite of discretionary income. The fact of the matter is that the payroll tax cut is one of the best methods available to stimulate the economy--the majority of funds are spent in the real economy and often times at restaurants just like this.

I did not care for the food at Old Towne and I'll continue to go where I please for dinner, but there are many out there that will not have that luxury and businesses just like this will suffer because of that fact.

But don't worry! Rob Woodall is looking out for the average guy! What would be do without the Gormandizing Gestapo?

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kevin 1 year, 7 months ago

So you are saying that Obama IS looking out for the average guy? Then why hasn't he done something besides going on another $500,000 vacation while the rest of us get ready for his tax increase that the is allowing to expire? It's Obama's economy and stupidity that has gotten us here.

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jjbod1 1 year, 8 months ago

Not surprised, went there twice, the first time it was not real busy, but half of the teenage wait staff seemed more concerned about talking to eachother than doing there jobs. We waited close to 15 mins and no one ever gave us a menu or asked hat we wanted to drink, so we walked right out the door. Tried again a few months later, same ole same ole. Never went back again.

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Reason 1 year, 8 months ago

Not the only establishment that has bad wait staff there. We used to go to the Italian place quite a bit when they were in Lawrenceville (They stayed constantly busy there, I might add) and we continued to go over to Suwanee, when they relocated. A month ago, I took my family and the kid waiting on us was VERY SLOW and we had to ask him from a distance to refill our drinks, while he was yapping with a female co-worker by the bar. The previous time, it was difficult to get the little garlic rolls to go with the meal. This sort of thing NEVER went on at the old Lawrenceville location. Perhaps it was a better manager, or simply because the old place was smaller. I seriously doubt we will be back. They need to tighten-up, or they may share the same fate.

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wellrod 1 year, 8 months ago

I had a bad experience the only time I went there. At 10 pm the kitchen was almost closed, so our options were limited. I also felt rushed by the waitress, obviously she wanted to get home. Food was not impressive of course. No wonder they went out of business.

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Gundoctor1 1 year, 8 months ago

Well, seems like many of our fellow posters here know exactly what happened. Every word they said was true, Service is what dictates all of this. No Good. No Stay!!!!!

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dentaldawg83 1 year, 8 months ago

I have to agree with the other comments here. There are some good eateries that really attend to the customers . When my wife and I find one, we try to support it as much as we can. Sounds like in this case that general manager Belinda Clark and her team wasn't paying attention.

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NewsReader 1 year, 8 months ago

Why would anyone patronize a place like this when you could go to Rico's in old historic Buford where the price is reasonable, the service is good, and the food is outstandingly delicious? I could not imagine Rico is having anything resembling a similar problem as the biggest problem I have with his restaurant is finding a place to park.

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Ashley 1 year, 8 months ago

It wen tout because the food sucked and the service was horrible. Please never blame the economy for your bad decisions. Mellow, Five guys, and Ippolitios are in the same economy.

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kevin 1 year, 7 months ago

Have any of you tried Boudreaux's Acadian Cafe at Old P'Tree Rd and Buford Hwy. Tried them when they opened and have never stopped going back. Low prices on fresh seafood dishes.

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anolis 1 year, 7 months ago

Gulf Coast Grill in Suwanee....To die for!

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SurelyNot 1 year, 7 months ago

Quality trumps everything. Never willing to go back to a bad rest. for any reason. If there are great locals, go to them. If not...do whatever makes you happy! Sorry for business owners who can't run a business. Disappointment all the way around.

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