• 75°

Ryan’s Buffet in Salisbury closes abruptly

By Amanda Raymond

SALISBURY — Ryan’s Buffet, a restaurant at 730 Jake Alexander Blvd. S., is now closed.

The restaurant closed suddenly on Sunday night without notifying employees or customers ahead of time, according to employees at the site Monday.

The public relations agency for Ovation Brands, parent company of Ryan’s Buffet, said the restaurant closed “as a result of business decisions,” and could not release any more information on the matter.

A group of employees gathered in the restaurant’s parking lot on Monday afternoon, informing longtime customers who drove up that the restaurant was closed.

Lisa Brownhale, a server and opener for the restaurant, said the employees who worked on Sunday were leaving for the night as the general manager put a sign up in the window that said, “To our valued guests, this location is now closed. Thank you for your business and we hope to serve you at another location very soon. Please visit ryans.com to find your nearest location.”

Brownhale said the restaurant had been having problems for months. One thing that drove customers away was the broken air conditioning. Temporary units were put in, but Brownhale said they did not work well.

Melissa Moore, a cashier, said she was most upset about how sudden the closing was. She said there was no warning from management that the restaurant would be closing.

Jennifer Sutphin, who stopped working for Ryan’s Buffet before this closing, said she had plenty of good memories from working there.

“This is my second home,” she said.

She said there was a time where employees were allowed to bring their children to the restaurant if they could not find babysitters. The children would sit in a back room and do their homework or color.

Sutphin said her time there was “beautiful,” but the way the restaurant was closed was wrong.

Salisbury’s Ryan’s is not the only one to close abruptly. According to the Consumerist, Ovation Brands, which is also the parent company for Hometown Buffet, Fire Mountain and Old Country Buffet, announced that it was closing 74 underperforming restaurants across the country in February.

On March 6, the company closed the rest of its restaurants and filed for bankruptcy the next day. It was unclear at the time whether those additional restaurants would be closed permanently.

Ryan Brands merged with Buffets Inc. 10 years ago to form Ovation Brands. According to the Consumerist, the company has filed for bankruptcy three times in the last eight years.

Brownhale said she had personal relationships with not just her fellow servers, but her customers as well. Ultimately, she said she felt that the situation was not handled properly.

“… What they did wasn’t right,” she said.


Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.



Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations


Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop


Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute


Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?


Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline


Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget


Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle


CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science


Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies


With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions


Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration


Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline


Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance


Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list


Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May


Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards


Cheerleading team competes at Disney


Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team


Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest


‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer


Public Records: March Deeds


Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31