Buffalo's Southwest Café, in the Beechwood Shopping Center, may technically be a chain, but the folks who own it locally, Rick and Sharon Roberts, have always run it more like a small business than like a franchise. Come Jan. 1, it—and the location of Fatburger just inside the door—will close permanently.
"Our exit plan was of course to sell the business, but the landlord informed us that they will not allow a restaurant to continue in our space, which essentially put us out of business," says Sharon Roberts. "They are removing the post office also, and tearing down all the walls between us and Coldwater Creek, then reconfiguring the space for 'soft goods.'"
Buffalo's has always been one of the largest restaurant spaces in Athens, which made it difficult in some ways for it to be profitable, and the Robertses have both had health issues, prompting them to move toward getting out of the restaurant business.
The restaurant will host a New Year's Eve celebration and will then auction off its decor, furniture and kitchen equipment Jan. 7 beginning at 10 a.m.