Customers share memories of The Homeplace Restaurant on its final day

Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 6:28 PM EDT
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CATAWBA, Va. (WDBJ) - It was a bittersweet day in Catawba. After decades of business, the pandemic is forcing The Homeplace Restaurant to shut down indefinitely as of Sunday, October 18.

Customers say they are sad to hear the Homeplace is closing its doors but are glad for the memories they were able to make.

“Growing up, we used to come here all the time with big family gatherings, and I also came for my birthday last year, so it definitely has a special place in my heart," Customer Katelyn Arney said.

Arney, from Botetourt, said she couldn’t miss having a Homeplace meal for possibly her last time ever. So she and her friends, all college students, drove two hours Sunday morning from James Madison University.

“We’re all saying we had so much homework and we’re like no, the Homeplace is worth it," Arney said.

Many say it’s because of the food and the views.

“The area it’s around and the mountains around it and the food, home-style cooking, all you can eat, it’s definitely a unique experience," she said.

Even the wait time is enjoyable - it’s actually what JMU student Cameron Hale says he’ll miss the most.

“It’s the only restaurant I enjoy waiting at because we can come out here and play Spike ball and enjoy the view," he said.

Like many, Hale and Arney weren’t pleased with Homeplace’s announcement on Facebook last week that the restaurant, which has been around since 1982, has decided to close indefinitely due to decreased business during the pandemic.

“I was really upset; I cried," Arney said.

“I was really bummed out when I first heard about that," Hale added.

Some customers say they hoped the restaurant’s loyal customer base would help get them through.

“I’m a little surprised, but I guess if it came down to it, I should’ve came here more. I think that’s what a lot of people are thinking now," customer Dustin Smith said.

Folks say they are hopeful the restaurant will open back up next year.

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