MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tennessee’s oldest restaurant is closing its doors. The City Cafe in Murfreesboro has had several owners since it first opened in 1900.
Teresa Kellogg has been an owner of the restaurant since 2014, when she bought the business with her best friend. A few years later, her and husband Rollin Kellogg bought the business and became the owners. She spoke with News 2 about the decision to close their doors.
“We didn’t know it was coming to this, we have struggled, we have tried, we shut down at the beginning of the COVID for what we thought was only going to be for two-weeks, and that turned into six-weeks. Then when we were able to come back in and open, we didn’t have the business like we had before.”
Kellogg told News 2 they have been running at 50-percent capacity since March and that finally caught up to them.
“It’s my second home. It’s a labor of love, restaurant work is hard business. You don’t make a lot of money. You have to love what you do and you have to love the customers. These people are my family.”
Kellogg says as hard as it is for her it’s just as difficult for the customers.
“They are devastated.. just as well as we are. They have been coming here for a lot longer than we have owned the place. Nobody wants to see it go away, but financially we can’t do it anymore. I can control what goes on inside but I can’t control what’s going on outside in this world, it’s not only hurting us it’s hurting everybody. It caught up.”
And she wants only one thing from the Middle Tennessee community that has shown them so much support over the years.
“Just pray for us, that we can get through it. We don’t want to leave. I don’t want my employees to not have anything and we are right here during the holidays. It’s just.. I don’t know. I don’t even know what to say. I want this COVID to go away. We all need to get back to some kind of normal. It’s hurting so many people.”
The City Cafe’s last day of operation will be on Saturday, November 14. If you would like to donate to employees as they search for new jobs, you can do so at this link on Go Fund Me.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.