Perkins Restaurant & Bakery on W. Sunshine has now been shut down on a permanent basis.
Workers said they came to know they were losing their jobs on Friday. Trish Wilkins has been serving and training at Perkins for the last 13 years.
“I love this place, I love everyone else in the building,” she said.
For Wilkins, Perkins is just like another home to her, and that’s why she’s sad to see it go down.
“I really liked all our guests, and you all know who you are. It’s a big shame,” she said.
Staff put out signs on the doors of the restaurant on Sunday, mentioning their gratitude to Springfield for 25 years of business and offering a token of apology for not being able to be adieu to some of their regulars.
Archie Donoho, the restaurant’s general manager, said the Springfield store debuted in 1994, and now it is shutting down due to a petty rental dispute. Donoho said the latest owner, Huddle House, was looking at a much cheaper rent but the landlord just wouldn’t listen to his demands.
He said he doesn’t the dynamics behind the reason for permanently closing it down.
” Our sales have been on the up for five years straight. We’re making a much higher profit than last year, but we still find the rent not viable,” he said.
Donoho, who has been working at the restaurant for nearly five years, said Sunday was an emotional day.
“There’s been a lot of them were in tears because we’re like family around here. A lot of us have been here the entire time,” he said.
Donoho said the “Perkins family” not only consists of staff but frequenters like Larry Smith. Smith stays under an hour from the store, in Cassville, Mo.
“We came all the way only to have the final meal,” he said.
Smith and his family are regulars at Perkins each time come over to Springfield for doctors’ visits. They made a visit to Springfield Sunday just to bid goodbye.