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Business Closing Blindsides Employees
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) - Dozens of people, including employees, were surprised Tuesday when they showed up to The Shed, a landmark Mobile restaurant, to learn the business had closed its doors.
One by one regular customers received the news outside the Old Shell Road business from employees who themselves were blindsided by the news.
"We sat there and wondered why and cried together" former General Manager Rob Dearing said, "It makes no sense."
A handwritten sign on the front door read "Closed, Ocean Springs Shed still serving BBQ!" and listed a phone number for the franchise's Mississippi location 60 miles west.
"It came out of nowhere, none of us heard any sort of rumor that this was going to happen," former employee Beth Lyons said.
She and Dearing said employees worked Monday night and were not told the business would not reopen Tuesday.
"You're affecting people's livelihoods, whether it's a student or a father or a mother; they've got kids to put through school," Dearing said.
Lyons, a student at the University of South Alabama, across the street from The Shed, said the burden of bills and paying for school is even heavier now that she's unemployed.
"This is our second day back at school and to have this thrown on our plate -- it's already stressful enough."
"Much consideration has been given to the new demands on the family and the original location in Ocean Springs, Ms.," an emailed statement from a spokesperson for the business read, "Plus the fact that the old Shell Road property has been placed on the market by its owners and a move would be inevitable."
With that information, former employees said they wished they would have received some sort of advanced notice considering the business had been doing well in their opinion. According to Dearing, this past weekend was an extremely successful one.
"This was everything to us," he said, "Everybody that worked for me, everybody that worked here, we lived for this place day in and day out."
FULL STATEMENT FROM THE ORRISON FAMILY ON 'THE SHED' CLOSING IT'S MOBILE LOCATION
The Orrison family has made the decision to close The Shed BBQ & Blues Joints Mobile location. Much consideration has been given to the new demands on the family and the original location in Ocean Springs, Ms. Plus the fact that the old Shell Road property has been placed on the market by its owners and a move would be inevitable. The Orrisons will be consolidating their efforts to the expansion of their original location. They have enjoyed the last four years in Mobile and appreciate the support of the community. Thanking the Mobile ShedHeds also for voting The Shed the Best BBQ in Mobile for the last 4 years and the Best BBQ on the Alabama Gulf Coast 2013.
-Linda Orrison, Marketing Director