Al's Family Restaurant, longtime North Augusta institution, closes

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Al’s Family Restaurant has closed, and its owner blames the poor economy.

“The economy bites the bullet on another one,” said Butch Bone, the owner of the North Augusta restaurant, which has been at 661 Atomic Road, since 1978.

In the past two years, Bone said, he has had to cut his staff from 28 employees to just nine.

Bone said he made the decision Sunday to close the restaurant. He’ll continue to operate his catering business out of Sportman’s Barbecue, which is owned by his family, on Martintown Road in Clarks Hill, S.C.

Bone owns the Al’s property but has no immediate plans for it, he said.

“I’m going to miss doing business in North Augusta,” Bone said.

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harley_52 02/19/13 - 12:09 pm
"Last year my insurance on workers was 33% on every dollar....

....of wages, now it is 90% and next year it will be 125%."

That's a statement that really should get peoples' attention. If you don't retire now and continue doing the fine work you do, you'll have to raise your prices substantially to remain viable. Same thing is true for everybody else that owns a business.

Consumers haven't been hit YET with the increased costs of everything that Obama's policies will bring. It will be a freight train when people really feel the weight of those policies.

David Parker
David Parker 02/19/13 - 12:53 pm
All the younger generations

All the younger generations since the baby-boomers have had to deal with this economic climate for just as long as the older generation. The difference is that the younger ones don't have a long-standing business / business income to combat these obstacles. They are winging it with a shoestring budget, just to get to the point where folks like Harley are talking about. But he's oh so right about the consumers. Once they start to impact the economy due to increased cost with lower spending, it will be next to impossible for new start-up businesses. It's not quite as easy as suggested to assign blame. I personally feel like the problems have existed for many years before our latest president. If the problems were not here before Obama came to office and now with his policy, they were newly created, I'd say the pre-existing strength of the economy was hollow and not strong at all to begin with.

Rolling Eyes
Rolling Eyes 02/19/13 - 01:56 pm
I'm sad to see another local

I'm sad to see another local icon closing its doors.

itsanotherday1 02/19/13 - 03:07 pm
The food was always fine to

The food was always fine to me; the last time though I noticed the portions were smaller. Someone noted a buff... er, pig trough down the road where people can pile it on. That may very well be influencing his business as many in the area go for the quantity over the quality.

Stargreen_1 02/19/13 - 03:46 pm
Sad to notice!

Sad to notice. I had a restaurant business. I worked for McDonalds during 2004 and was a cook early morning opener from 4.30 am to 10.30 am. The food left unsold that is loss to the business. Between 4.30 am and 6.30 am I used to cook tray by tray and when traffic picks up between 7.30 am to 9.30 am I keep continously filling the tray, this I developed when I saw much of the food being thrashed at 10.30 AM in order to start the lunch session. The owner really appreciated me on this, this on my part to save something for the restaurant I worked. As long as no food is left unsold and customers patronage is there any business could survive in any economy as people have to eat! Even during 2004 business used to be slow and being the first person who came for work, I used to be sent off first when the business slows down. One thing I am noticing nowadays is people start cooking and bringing food from their home due to curtail expenses. When absence of customers goes on increasing and the owner reaches the bearable debt limit and beyond that, he decides to close the business in order for him to survive. But this is America, when everything improves and there is a need for a restaurant again, this owner might re-open again also! Running a restaurant is like delivering a baby daily in a Hospital or like a circus man droping his head into a lion's open mouth and taking it out safely!

triscuit 02/19/13 - 04:10 pm
Several reasons

Several reasons probably...Barbecue Barn practically next door surely cut into the lunch crowd. Too much competition for the eating out dollar everywhere. Most younger folks do not want this heavy country food , much less in the middle of the day. As an older person, I love it, but tend to eat less too. Doesn't mean it wasn't good, but times do change. Always hate to see a small business close.

Gage Creed
Gage Creed 02/19/13 - 09:00 pm
The Bone family are good

The Bone family are good folks...I wish them well.

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