RALEIGH – There is a special kind of pride taken in a long-standing, community-oriented, family-run business. Most of us have a specific place in mind when imagining such a place. Many of them boast of their “Since…” date, whether they be restaurants, general stores, retail stores, or local service providers that are ‘second to none.’
25 years. 50 years. 100 years. 150 years.
Until this year.
From forced closures and devastating restrictions due to Governor Roy Cooper’s coronavirus related overreach, to riots and elected officials refusals to protect property, many of these businesses are being forced out of business in 2020.
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We’ll highlight two businesses that tell this sad, and avoidable, story; a restaurant in operation for nearly 60 years, and hardware store in whose story goes back more than 150 years.
Bill Spoon’s Barbecue is shutting it’s doors after 57 years of serving the Charlotte community:
“After more than 57 years in business, we will be serving our last meal on Wednesday, September 16, 2020. With a heavy heart, we must close our doors. We are so grateful for the many customers that we have served over the years. So many of you have become friends, and we have memories that will last a lifetime. We will miss the smiles, laughter, and conversations over a plate of BBQ and a cold glass of homemade sweet tea. Bill and Marie Spoon, my grandfather and grandmother, opened Spoons when South Blvd was a 2-lane dirt road, then called Pineville Road. I began bussing tables at the age of 10, worked my way up to the steam table by age 13, and bought Spoon’s in 2006, one year before my best bud, my Papaw, passed away. Over the years, our food, labor intensive process, and the legend my grandparents began so many decades ago have become an antique. If you’ve been a customer over the years, you remember the lines that wrapped around the building. Those lines have diminished as time has passed, and each year has become substantially harder to keep our doors open. 2020 has proven hard for everyone, but has truly been detrimental to small businesses like us that were already barely making ends meet. Despite every attempt to hang on as long as we could, we simply aren’t able to any longer. As hard of a decision this was to make, I know it’s what my grandfather would want me to do. I hope he’s smiling down from Heaven, knowing I served our Eastern NC BBQ with the same love and passion as he did. I often had 70-80 hour work weeks, but when you have passion, you have drive, and this restaurant and it’s legacy will always be a part of my family and I. My kids loved coming to work with me, and watching them run up and down the front hall, fists full of hushpuppies, is something I’ll always treasure. We began our foundation Serving Spoons in this restaurant, and with countless volunteers, we fed nearly 4,000 meals to the homeless in our area. Spoon’s BBQ is something I’m proud of, and I feel has touched so many lives along the way. We have always strived to treat the businessmen who stopped by for lunch and left a hefty tip the same as the many regular homeless who stopped by, offering only a handshake and a ‘thank you’ to pay for their meal. Charlotte, we will miss serving you. We thank you for being a part of our lives, for enjoying BBQ as much as we have, and for all of the many memories we have made along the way. Please join us this week. With the current mandate, we are operating curbside only, but we would love to serve you one last time.
Steve Spoon Jr., Staff and Family
Restaurants have been particularly hard hit during the Pandemic Panic. They were one of the first sectors to face forced closures by unilateral decree, but they also are a victim of the extreme amounts of fear propagated by the fear mongers even when indoor dining (with restrictions) was once again allowed.
Ask any restaurant owner in a urban area about the 50 percent capacity limits, and they’ll likely tell you they’d LOVE to reach that number of people in their dinning room.
Briggs Hardware in Raleigh is not a restaurant, but they are closing their downtown after more than 150 years of doing business in the City of Oaks. That means they’ve survived the Spanish Flu, WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, and everything in between; but 2020 is chasing them out of Raleigh’s city center.
Why? The Pandemic Panic has certainly affected the Briggs’ business, but the double whammy from it and the Woke Riots of 2020 is what really sealed the deal. In June of this year multiple nights of riots were activated in the capital city, just like in cities across the country. Additional nights of destructive mayhem dotted the summer and into August.
Notably, the city’s elected leaders and Governor Roy Cooper did nothing to protect the downtown businesses from harm. Instead, Cooper marched with the activists for a PR stunt; and, Mayor Mary Ann Baldwin said we wanted to give protesters space.
This was just after those riots:
Now, she’s getting out of the city, moving here life and the business to a place where people are more reticent to sacrifice their liberty and common sense to purveyors of panic, and where letting mobs destroy property unimpeded would be unconscionable to community leaders – Carteret County.
There are countless examples of businesses closing or moving due to these issues, and we bet you know of some. Please share their stories in the comments and, as always, remember in November.
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