Such a sad sight to see

CynicFebruary 5, 2013

This is all that's left of a dead friend's family business. A closed sign. Combined, he, his wife and his son, invested over a century of their lives to their businesses and this sports grill/bar was the "flagship". It was the one that started their little empire.

I know I posted about this before but at the time I didn't know the business was unable to survive without him. That shocks me more than the deaths. For those who don't recall, wife died many years ago and father and son were unusually close. They ran their businesses together, fought like dogs and cats and made a great living. Their business and their relationship were their lives and their obsession. They actually enjoyed the fights. And dad admits that he wasn't always right!

Years ago, son had taken over, dad retired (for the most part), and healthy as son was (incredible shape outwardly anyway), he died from a sudden heart attack. Dad just couldn't deal with it and after a few years money couldn't buy happiness, even his friends and other family couldn't make up for the loss of his son and he committed suicide. Surprisingly, it didn't take long for the closed sign to go in the window. Why I'm so surprised is this was not a "small" business in the sense that they had many managers and employed a lot of people compared to other restaurants and bars of its size. They were very popular with the young crowd. I can only speculate that finances were an issue to keep up with operating expenses since the business would be tied up in probate. Or there could be other issues unknown to me.

They had been running this business since 1969. It started as a franchised family restaurant but as the times changed they changed with it and converted to the sports grill and bar business model and things grew. Although they were definitely micro-managers and very hands-on in the operation, the place still ran fine when they were gone. Guess that's why it seems so strange that it couldn't survive without them. The legacy they would leave, the century of their lives put into it, just seems like a waste.

Nothing has replaced it yet. Seems strange to think of it not being around even without the immediate family running it. Seems like a waste too. The grandkids won't have it or the benefits of it. Don't get me wrong, those kids certainly will not starve but it just all kind of amazes me. Life is uncertain but to see a thriving business crumble from the loss of one or two people is kind of surprising.

As I said, just kind of sad all the way around.

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It is a sad thing for this to happen. Sad that others will loose their jobs too.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 6:11PM
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Oh, that's so sad.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Since there are grandchildren, maybe one or more of them will buy the business. I sure hope so, because it seems like all their hard work would be for nothing. Plus, like Marie said, sad for the employees, too.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:32PM
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and yet maybe the town be as lucky as my friend's community...her dd and sil bought the only place in tiny town, and with help from family, redid, painted, dad made a custom bar top,'s now again back to the place where all the locals go...

a new/old place for friends...

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:43PM
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The sign says CLOSED not OUT OF BUSINESS. Could it be one or more of the other managers are working on financing/details? Sure sounds like a good opportunity.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:23PM
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It is sad to see such a thing, but if the owner did not install plans to continue the business after his denise or retirement, it dies with him. To survive after his disassociation either by death, incapability, or retirement, he has to prepare to pass control to others.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 4:37AM
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A plan of succession is hugely important for every family-owned/operated business.

And often neglected ... more often than not at huge inconvenience/disruption/cost.

Sometimes the demise of the business follows not substantially long after that of the owner(s).

What an almost tragedy ... that these guys fought like cat and dog (well, some cats and some dogs) ... but were so devoted to one another that the second couldn't manage/survive following the demise of the first.

What a shame ... what a waste of human potential!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 4:53PM
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I can't say for certain but I'm reasonably sure that there was a Will and such. Passing control to others isn't an issue. As said there were a number of managers capable of running it. And it did continue. They had roped off the table the owner used to sit at all the time as a "memorial" to him. His loss brought in a lot of people actually from what I understand.

However, it's been around a year since closing. Sure it's possible it's tied up in probate but I know the attorney he used and I have every confidence it wouldn't be prevented from staying open for that reason. Could it reopen? Well, technically, yes, but when a grill/bar is closed this long, it's a huge challenge to return to the business it was. People find other hangouts. Simple as that. My guess is it's gone for good by now.

I have an affection for the small business community. It's what built this country. It's what built the big businesses. I really hate seeing a business die like this. The community is a big loser. Schools are losing a lot of support. People lost their jobs. State loses tax revenue and so on. There's a lot of impact from the loss of a small business.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:32PM
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I'm sad any time a family business closes. A treasure has been lost.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:09PM
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