Smi­ley’s Res­tau­rant closes doors

The Covington News - - Local - By Gabriel Khouli gkhouli@cov­

Smi­ley’ Res­tau­rant in Por­terdale closed down this week, and while owner Gwen Spears hopes to find a new lo­ca­tion soon, she may have to re­lo­cate to an­other county.

The South­ern buf­fet fell vic­tim to the re­ces­sion, with de­creased sales for the past year and a half. Spears said Wed­nes­day that busi­ness had just been pick­ing up again, be­fore the debt she had been ac- cu­mu­lat­ing fi­nally caught up.

“I got be­hind on my rent and had taken so much of my own per­sonal money (to pay bills) I al­most lost my house be­cause of it,” Spears said. “I would just like to let peo­ple know that we ap­pre­ci­ate each and ev­ery one of them stand­ing be­hind us. We’ll miss them dearly. As soon as some­thing comes avail­able, we have our con­tact list, we’ll sure let them know where we end up.”

Smi­ley’s first opened on the Cov­ing­ton square in 1994, then moved a cou­ple of times be­fore open­ing on Por­terdale’s main drag four years ago. Spears said she hasn’t been able to find an­other suit­able lo­ca­tion in the Cov­ing­ton area, and may move to Cony­ers or McDonough.

“I don’t need to stay out of work too long, be­cause I have a lot of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. It’s like los­ing part of our fam­ily, our cus­tomers stood be­hind us like fam­ily. You grow to love peo­ple like that,” she said.

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