WARREN, R.I. (WPRI) — The popular Country Inn restaurant in Warren shut down without warning Monday morning and by Tuesday evening, employees and patrons were still looking for answers.
Eyewitness News has reached out to its owner, Jan Companies, for comment multiple times over the past two days. So far nothing has been released as to why the restaurant is now closed. On Tuesday, we were told the person who handles media inquiries was out of the office.
Word of the closure quickly spread about town and while people who pulled in on Monday were fed nothing but disappointment, the parking lot on Tuesday was home to just puddles.
“It’s sad to know this parking lot used to be full,” kitchen manager Mark Mackenzie said. “Patrons used to come and go, enjoy themselves, workers used to work, it’s sad. It’s just sad to see it so empty.”
The Country Inn had about 90 full-time and part-time workers, according to Mackenzie.
“Reality sets in the next day when you wake up and you truly realize you have no job, and we’re just all still searching for answers as to why,” he added.
About a 15-minute drive away, another East Bay restaurant doesn’t have those answers but it does have job openings. Courtney Poissant, the owner of Common Pub and Grille on Wood Street in Bristol, is encouraging former Country Inn staff members to apply.
“I think we have a good amount of positions that we could fill and anything that we could do to help, that’s what we’re here to do,” Poissant said Tuesday.
Mackenzie said some of his former coworkers have already started looking for new jobs while some are still coming to grips with what happened. The gloomy weather on Tuesday didn’t help any, he said.
“It’s the icing on the cake after a bad day,” Mackenzie said. “Wake up and you’re already in a somber mood, and you look out and it’s just even more miserable but like the rain, it’s going to come and go, so it is what it is.”
Skyline at Waterplace in downtown Providence also has job openings. The restaurant is holding a job fair from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday at 1 Finance Way.