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‘This restaurant is absolutely iconic’: Owners of Blowing Rock restaurant stepping away after 40 years

The owners of Papa Joe’s restaurant are calling it a career, having seen thousands of customers come through the door in their 40 years in the industry.
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 10:48 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2021 at 7:25 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A staple in Blowing Rock has seen its last day.

The owners of Papa Joe’s restaurant are calling it a career, having seen thousands of customers come through the door in their 40 years in the industry.

“It’s time. I mean look at us. We’re in our seventies,” owner Cindy King said.

Call it a final meal as it were. A final meal between friends. The owners of Papa Joe’s restaurant in Blowing Rock have been slinging food for hungry customers for 40 years. Now, Cindy King and Joe Papa have decided to hoist the retirement flag and step away from the business.

“When word got out that we were closing, they bombarded us,” Papa said.

This place is so loved in the community when residents found out it was the restaurant’s last day, they swarmed in. In fact, it was so busy today…

“Heck, we run out of food,” Papa exclaimed.

The store had to shutter its doors hours early because there was no food left to serve. But they did leave enough for one more meal for close friends. One last pizza or two to talk about the good times and what lays ahead.

“It’s iconic. This restaurant is absolutely iconic.” Bill Brooks, who was a customer for over 20 years, said.

And business partners with a relationship that lasted longer than most marriages. But it’s the relationship with the customers they’ll remember the most.

“We know all their kids, we’ve seen their kids grow up. They bring their grandchildren in here. It’s just that everyday thing of seeing them,” King said.

And while they may be leaving the restaurant, they have no plans to come off the mountain.

“I’ve made some great friends here. I expect to spend the rest of my life here in Blowing Rock,” Papa said.

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