Saturday marks Country Cupboard’s final day of restoration | News

LEWISBURG – Saturday marks the last day that patrons will have the chance to dine at Country Cupboard in Lewisburg.

The Country Cupboard announced on Facebook on Friday that it would end on-site dining on Saturday and the gift shop would close Feb. 26.

Angie Bowers, from Milton, went to a restaurant with her husband Tim and their family on Friday for her birthday. “We love this place,” she said.

Bowers said Country Cupboard was where their wedding reception was held 32 years ago and she would miss the restaurant “terribly”.

“The support has been overwhelming. It’s great to see the staff handling it as well as they do,” said Chris Baylor, CEO of Baylor-Hamm Companies.

Country Cupboard will be closed Sunday through Tuesday and the gift shops will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through February 26.

A Facebook post from the company said most gift shop items will be 40% off the original price starting Wednesday. Food, bakery and deli items will not be included.

The message stated that the gift cards would not be redeemable for merchandise during the last week of activity for the gift shop registers. Customers can redeem remaining gift cards for cash at the Guest Services counter until 5 p.m. on February 26.

A Facebook post thanked the local community and customers for their support as the business prepared to close.

“We are so grateful for the past 49 years,” Baylor said. “We appreciate the support. This week has made us realize how difficult it is with the labor shortage, in particular.”

Baylor credits the staff as one of the many reasons they have stayed in business for so long. He noted that many staff members had been employed for decades.

“I can’t thank them enough for their efforts,” he said.

Laurie Burke, employed by Country Cupboard for 22 years, said she would follow the owners anywhere. She said she was ready to take a break.

Kathy Stump, a 36-year employee, said she hopes to retire.

“I think it’s a great company to work for,” Stump said. “I will miss my colleagues and my clients.”

Baylor said it plans to wind down after the shutdown.

“The majority of our employees know what they are going to do for their next chapter,” he said.

He said they managed to place 25 employees in different companies. He also noted that many were close to retirement.

Baylor said on the day Country Cupboard’s closure was announced, the restaurant employed about 136 full-time and part-time employees. Last week, he said, the restaurant had 127 employees.

“So only nine chose to go elsewhere during the transition,” Baylor said.

He said he believed most would land on their feet. Baylor said the past week had been a challenge and he knew they were going to be busy.

Last week, Country Cupboard served 1,700 guests in a single day, according to Baylor. He explained that the restaurant opens at 8 a.m. and closes around 7 p.m. He said they would serve up to 5,000 guests on some days during the pandemic.