After 12 years of serving customers in Macon, Sonnys BBQ has closed for business.
Owner Brad Fink said Wednesday morning that the restaurant, located at 4684 Presidential Parkway, was having a difficult time staying afloat the past few years after the economic downturn.
The other two Sonnys BBQ locations in Middle Georgia, at 811 Russell Parkway in Warner Robins and at 1001 St. Patricks Drive in Perry, will remain open, Fink said.
This is a tough day, as you can imagine, Fink said. I think its (due to) the economy. Small businesses have been challenged for the last several years. Weve done the best we can with loyal customers and loyal staff.
Sonnys is based in Winter Park, Fla., and has franchises in nine states throughout the Southeast. There are 18 Sonnys BBQ restaurants in Georgia, not counting the Macon location.
Fink said about 40 full-time and part-time staff worked at the restaurant. He let employees know about the closing Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
Some of the Macon staff may get positions at the other two Middle Georgia Sonnys, Fink said, and he is working with the Georgia Department of Labor to help employees find jobs.
We want to do everything we can to help our impacted employees find other opportunities, he said.
Julius Awoye, who had worked at the restaurant as a cook for more than a year, said he found out Wednesday morning that Sonnys was closing.
Its mostly because of business, he said. Its been a little slow, and the owner decided to close up. ... The food was good. I dont know why we werent busy. Its shocking and sad.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.