Customers and employees caught off guard by Jackson's closing

Updated: Aug. 24, 2018 at 8:47 PM EDT
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WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Those planning to dine in at Jackson's Southern Kitchen in West Columbia, Friday, had to come up with a "Plan B." The restaurant was closed after the owner was arrested, Friday, for failing to pay nearly $215,000 in taxes.

"Oh my God, they're phenomenal, outstanding. I have nothing bad to say about the customer service."

Two women, who chose not to give their names, said they've been planning their family reunion for the last six months and chose Jackson's Southern Kitchen to do the catering.

"It's the first family reunion our family has ever had. So, it was supposed to be phenomenal to start with."

But when they heard on the news that the restaurant was closed down, they decided to come see for themselves.

"We saw it earlier, but we had to come this way. So, we just stopped to be sure and so now I'm like really traumatized. Now, I have to tell the rest of the family."

Dozens of potential customers and even some employees were caught completely off guard by the sign notifying people the restaurant was closed, posted after the restaurant's owner was arrested, Friday.

32-year-old, Jeremy Chavis, is being charged with four counts of tax evasion.

The SC Department of Revenue says he failed to pay nearly $215,000 in taxes.

The two nameless women say they, "ordered a southern dinner that consists of some macaroni and cheese, ribs, collard greens, candied yams, cornbread, cakes."

A total of about $200 of food they say they're hoping they still get to enjoy during their family reunion.

"We've already paid for the food. We don't have any information, as far as, are they open tomorrow. There's a sign on the door that says they're reopening ASAP, but that doesn't tell me that they'll be open tomorrow with our food order."

Hours after his arrest, Chavis stood before a Lexington County judge and has since been released on a $10,000 bond.

In the meantime, the women planning their family reunion say they just, "hope they're open tomorrow so we can get our food!"

Officials say the owner failed to report nearly $3 million in sales, and by doing so he avoided paying almost $215,000 in sales tax.

If convicted Chavis faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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