Dine in downtown Courthouse Square farmhouse
TEXARKANA, Ark. – B & J’s Downtown Diner & Creamery opened in June 2020. Offering an inexpensive old-fashioned diner-style menu, a full ice cream bar, the restaurant catered to a large and enthusiastic crowd. But soon after, they were rocked by multiple shocks in their business. From COVID-19 and the initial closures, followed by the ice storm and then the road closure for work around the federal courthouse, the disruption has proven to be untenable for the company.
The restaurant is seated on the front steps of the courthouse. Roadworks and changes to the park surrounding it have in many ways clouded its working time.
“Things were going well, and since we’ve fully reopened, customers have been coming back,” said Janet Hawkins, director. “But these events have really hurt us, have left us behind. And now with rent, utilities and taxes, local, state, federal, we continue to fall behind. So we made the very decision. difficult to close our doors. “
His last day was Friday.
In addition, the place has faced a staff shortage since resuming operations. This has been a common theme for many restaurants coming out of the pandemic.
“We start at 5:30 pm for our breakfast crowd,” Hawkins said. “It’s a long day, especially since we don’t have enough staff, especially cooks. It’s hard to do though. Because most of us have been here since we opened. have become like a family. “
Jaelyn Bunch, who worked at the counter, will be going to school in the fall, pursuing a degree in speech therapy. This is her first job, and now she has strong hospitality skills. But seeing this happen saddens him.
“It makes me sad,” she said. “Seeing it close like this. I’ve been here since it opened. We’ve become a family here.”
Malory Cheatham, front counter, also marks this as one of his first jobs. Senior at Genoa Central High, she will look for another job.
“I learned a lot here,” she said. “I was leaving anyway, but here we are. Sad to see, and I’ve been there since we opened.”
Doug Hasley from Prescott, Arkansas, is one of the original clients and doesn’t want to see them go either.
“This last year here has been wonderful,” he said. “I made friends here. I hate to see them close. I will miss it.”