Southern comfort restaurant leaving Columbia after 62 years

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Some restaurant employees are looking for work.

S&S Cafeteria in the Richland Mall on Forest Drive is closing at the end of this month after 62 years of service. "I just hate to see it go," said customer June Stevenson.

According to District Manager Judd Smith, the restaurant averages 5,000 customers a week, but they'd need another thousand to keep things going. "People just don't have as much money to eat out as often," expressed Smith.

Smith said unlike some businesses, the economic downturn didn't affect them immediately."It's really been like this for a couple years," claimed Smith, "We've struggled, done a lot of advertisement, and given it our best shot."

There are nine other S&S Cafeteria locations, including three in South Carolina. Employees have been offered transfers. Smith doesn't know if there are other closings on the way. "We have some units that are doing very well, and we do have some that are struggling also," explained Smith.

Now loyal customers will have to find a new place for southern cuisine while Richland Mall management looks for new tenants. "I think that's kind of bad," said customer Barbara Moore, "That's going to be sad because there's nothing much to do here when you come to the mall. Just a few things."

"I guess all of us will adjust," expressed Stevenson.

S&S Cafeteria officially closes its doors on Sunday, January 30 at 2:30pm.