Hamlet restaurant closed ‘effective immediately’

Guinn calls it quits for Cafe on Main

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

On Dec. 21, Amy Guinn used the Cafe on Main restaurant Facebook page to wish patrons a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Allison Sweatt, of Richmond County Animal Advocates (left), and Amy Guinn, of Cafe on Main, sort raffle items during the inaugural Spay-ghetti dinner June 15 in Hamlet. Owner Amy Guinn has decided to close the restaurant effective immediately.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Allison Sweatt, of Richmond County Animal Advocates (left), and Amy Guinn, of Cafe on Main, sort raffle items during the inaugural Spay-ghetti dinner June 15 in Hamlet. Owner Amy Guinn has decided to close the restaurant effective immediately.

The restaurant, she posted, would be closed between Dec. 23 and Dec. 27 and then again from Dec. 30 through Jan. 3. Normally closed each Sunday and Monday, the cafe was expected to reopen on Jan. 6. Over the holiday period, though, Guinn has had a change of heart. A day after telling her four employees by phone of the closure, effective immediately, Guinn confirmed with The Pee Dee Post in an email interview that was the case.

Guinn bought the building and the business from Ron Mayo, currently president of the Hamlet Business Development Association, in October 2011. The building at 38 W. Main St. had been used as a restaurant for about eight years prior to Guinn’s purchase.

“At that time, I bought it with a partner, who was out of the business by April of 2012,” Guinn said by email. “I mention that because a large part of the reason I feel the cafe didn’t work out for me is that it’s too much to manage the day-to-day operations for me alone.”

Guinn also cited a lack of experience in business and restaurant management as “instrumental in the outcome of the business.”

Still, Guinn wasn’t afraid to reach into a bag of tricks to both drum up business and support local nonprofits. She ensured her restaurant was open for weekly classic car cruise-ins each Friday night in the spring, summer and fall. Guinn also assisted nonprofits, such as Richmond County Animal Advocates, by renting our her facility at a discounted rate. At a Spay-ghetti fundraiser for animals in June, Allison Sweatt, of RCAA, said Guinn had gone above and beyond what she agreed to provide.

The restaurant would not have remained open as long as it did without dedicated diners, Guinn said.

“There was a group of older men who came most every day we were open for breakfast,” Guinn said. “They will be very disappointed we are closed. There were very regular customers for the fish special on Fridays, too. Being able to interact with the customers was very enjoyable for me. I learned a lot about the people and the goings on in Richmond County. I learned a lot about running a business as well. Learning on the job is not the best way to learn, though, when you are the boss.”

She also credited “some very dependable, hard-working employees. I wouldn’t have made it as long as I did without some of them.”

Guinn, a member of the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, said she sees “a big need for a restaurant on Main Street in Hamlet and my plan is to get another person to open a restaurant there, either as a primary or secondary location for them.”

Guinn said she has no other active business ventures and “I do not have immediate plans as far as what’s in the future for me in business or employment.”

 

Filed in: Business, Featured News, Hamlet, Latest Headlines, News

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  • Vikki King Griggs

    So sorry to see you go…really enjoyed eating lunch there!

  • Kelli Barker Horne

    I really used to enjoy the café while I lived in Hamlet. Sad to hear it’s closing.

  • Ben

    Ms. Guinn,

    I admired how you worked hard and creatively for over three years to make this restaurant a success and bring interest to Downtown Hamlet. I hope it can be replaced soon with something equally interesting and a good value to boot! I think that location has potential and plenty of local parking!

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