Blue Plate Cafe closes Bartlett location - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Blue Plate Cafe closes Bartlett location

An uncertain economy has taken its toll on a popular Memphis restaurant.

The Blue Plate Cafe closed its Bartlett location for good Sunday, after six years of serving up Southern home cooking. The Downtown and East Memphis Blue Plate Cafe locations will remain open.

The economic downturn ate away Blue Plate Cafe's profits to the point where owner Mike Richmond says he could no longer afford to keep the award-winning restaurant open.

"All costs are going up everywhere. Utility bills are absolutely unreal," said Richmond.

Not only are Mike Richmond's costs going up, but his customers are suffering rising costs, too, keeping many from dining out in recent months.

"People in this area are not wealthy, between the gas prices and the utility bills... the things that cut into a monthly budget," said Richmond.

The Blue Plate Cafe name is well-known in Memphis. Their Poplar location was even picked out by presidential hopeful John McCain's staff for his campaign stop last month.

But the restaurant's reputation for great biscuits and home cooking just wasn't enough to satisfy the hunger of rising costs.

Now employees like Amber Hudson aren't sure what they'll do next.

"This was my only income," said Hudson, the single mother of a three-month-old son. "I count on this money, we all do. It gets us gas, diapers, baby formula."

Employees just found out Sunday afternoon that their jobs are gone.

Hudson says she plans to start looking for a new job right away. "How am I going to buy diapers and stuff till then?"

Click here to e-mail Lori Brown.
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