WARREN, R.I. (WPRI) — The Country Inn was a staple in the East Bay for 50 years. That’s why residents were shocked to find a “For Sale” sign posted outside last week.
Employees of the restaurant told Eyewitness News they weren’t informed the business was closing, or why.
For the past week, Eyewitness News has been reaching out to the restaurant’s ownership group, Cranston-based Jan Companies, who didn’t respond until Monday.
The company’s vice president, Janice Matthews, said the restaurant shut down because business was not doing well.
“The portions were huge, the prices were low,” Matthews explained.
In a separate conversation, Jan Companies’ treasurer said the company will honor all gift cards held by Country Inn patrons. Customers with gift cards can send inquiries to the following address:
P.O. Box 8819
Cranston, RI 02920
In the meantime, all former Country Inn employees have been offered new jobs at other restaurants, according to the treasurer.
Grapes and Grains in Barrington confirms they’ve offered jobs to two servers while Gregg’s Restaurants and Taverns said it’s also hired several candidates, and has more interviews lined up in the coming days.
Country Inn’s former kitchen manager, Mark Mackenzie, has secured a new position at Lucky’s in East Providence.
Mackenzie said even though he has a new job, he’s not letting Country Inn’s owners off the hook that easily. He started a petition and said he’s already collected more than 1,000 signatures, which he plans to bring to the R.I. Department of Labor and Training and the attorney general’s office.
A GoFundMe page was also started to support the workers who were displaced by the closure.