SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - A new restaurant in downtown Salisbury that seemed to be popular with diners is closed, and the owner now says it will not reopen.
A sign on the front door of Chick-N-Ale simply says "closed." Calls to the number were not answered. One person told WBTV that he did get an answer on Tuesday afternoon and was told the restaurant would not reopen.
"Our concept was for a quick casual restaurant with $7 to $9 entrees," owner Stan Lineberry wrote in a statement released on Wednesday.
"Salisbury is the smallest market that we are in. Our concept required a higher volume of customers. Our concept really needed a stand alone building with a drive through. It was not going to grow fast enough without it. We tried to put the wrong type of restaurant in an otherwise great restaurant space."
The restaurant opened on September 29 in the former location of Uncle Buck's. It was marketed as a new concept in casual dining, and there was even talk of making the brand a national chain. The restaurant also had a very active presence on social media, at least until last week when the posts to the Facebook page abruptly stopped.
The building is owned by Michael Young. In a Salisbury Post article from July, Young said that a number of other restaurants had been vying for the space, and that if Chick-N-Ale didn't work out after three years, another restaurant could take its place.
Young is also quoted in the statement released by Lineberry.
According to Young, "They are on the hook for rent for two years. We don't want the building to sit idle. We are working with them to put a new operator in the space. With the equipment in place, it would make a great turnkey operation for an experienced restaurateur. We are actively talking to folks from Concord and Winston-Salem."
Several people posted messages on the WBTV-Salisbury Facebook expressing hope that the closure is not permanent and praising the food at Chick-N-Ale. One or two others posted that they are not surprised that the restaurant is closed.