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Cafe 230 closing its doors to lunchgoers

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga. — A downtown Albany restaurant is abruptly closing its doors to lunch customers, sources close to the organization say.

The staff at Cafe 230 will serve the last lunches Friday, according to an email sent to members of the Downtown Sertoma Club, a civic group that has used the facility for its monthly meetings.

A source close to the owners of the restaurant who would not speak for attribution because certain principals had not been told of the move Thursday, confirmed that the restaurant, located at 230 W. Broad Ave., would be closing for lunch business but would remain open for catering and private parties.

Existing bookings shouldn’t be impacted, the source said.

Downtown Manager Aaron Blair said that he had been kept in the dark as to Cafe 230’s impending closure. He said late Thursday that he learned of the situation from the Sertoma email.

“This came out of the blue for me,” Blair said. “I didn’t know they were having troubles or that they may be considering closing. I don’t really know what the deal is.”

The owners also may be considering relocating the facility.

When it opened its doors in 2010, Cafe 230 was seen largely as a major component in a downtown renaissance.

Comments

thedeepend 2 years ago

As if Aaron would have helped them if he had known....

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BoBJ 2 years ago

B.J. Fletcher and Sarah Edmonds. i'm sorry that you were convinced to sell to her. She is not what she wants people to think. I have know her for over 30 years. She cares about Donna only

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

WOW this is disappointing. I always got a wheel chair discount there. : (

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sue 2 years ago

the place was packed today and the pork chops are to die for! Quite disappointed

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badheavychevy 2 years ago

bad location..........need to move to NW Albany

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Amazed2 2 years ago

There is a reason Bo Henry and Stuart moved out of there after a few years. Downtown aint the place to be. The guy that remodeled the building opened a resturant there and tossed in the towel after just a few months. Cafe 230 openend and has really tried to make it but there is just only so many people that go downtown. Three strikes for that building but Im sure somebody will try barbeque or chinese there. Another one bites the dust.

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urbanpurpose 2 years ago

Mr Blair couldn't help He doesn't run cafe 230.

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dickyboy 2 years ago

Aaron who? Own two businesses downtown ..never seen the guy.. don't know what he looks like

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dickyboy 2 years ago

Not surprised... Aaron caught off guard? Own two companies downtown.. never has seen the man

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KaosinAlbany 2 years ago

What?! Aaron is the Downtown Manager and CEO of ADICA. He doesn't own a business downtown.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years ago

Do you mean you own two businesses downtown? Your statement is choppy so it is hard to understand.

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dickyboy 2 years ago

Aaron is invisible... been downtown for years...never saw the guy..

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dingleberry 2 years ago

I'm sorry but there just doesn't seem to be a commercially viable future for many businesses downtown in general and food in particular. The workforce is not large enough to support many eateries when only lunch is served.

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iko 2 years ago

Bring back Don Buie. With his leadership, Downtown Albany can be number one again!

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dingleberry 2 years ago

Speaking of Dandy Don brings back memories of the city loan to LaJua's on Radium Springs Rd. Recently, an article in the Herald said the city was foreclosing on the property to get back our $100,000 business loan. But I can't find where the foreclosure occurred and no further mention has been made of our money. Anyone got a clue where we stand?

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chinaberry25 2 years ago

Is this JB's restaurant? I never ate there because she was off the charts too high at her other restaurants. She was in Lee Co. next to Rice Bowl. Wanted $11.95 for a buffet that did not have 2 meats on it. I can go to the Rice Bowl for a lot less. RB thrives and she left after 2 months. Look at the Cookie Shoppe and Riverfront, you can get a great meal for a lot less. That is where you will go. Folks do not want a heavy calorie laden lunch for they will want to sleep the rest of the day.

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dingleberry 2 years ago

This 230 had been BJ's but is not at the moment. I ate at the Lee location several times but never saw a buffet--meal was around $8 at lunch same as downtown. Reality is most working people don't have money or time to eat a restaurant lunch often so those with cheaper menus and faster service will be the winners.

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urbanpurpose 2 years ago

Dickyboy, what you own? I see him out and about. I'll tell him to stop over. I'm part of the cash mob that he's part of ill tell him

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KaosinAlbany 2 years ago

Hello urbanpurpose! I don't think dickeyboy knows what he is talking about.

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whattheheck 2 years ago

I hate to tell you Urban,there isn't enough cash left in Albany to make downtown viable for much of anything. Mobs we may have but cash we don't. Throwing a couple of $$ to a business once in a blue moon won't produce enough cash to survive in downtown. I realize all mean well but it is all a matter of not enough money--good intentions and cheer leading ain't worth a hoot in this case!

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jglass 2 years ago

Sad that all of the places BJ got up and running and then sold them to others and the others cannot make a go of it. And, there are enough people downtown on a daily basis that can keep these restaurants in business. You could get soup, salad and tea for maybe $5 at lunch at Cafe230. Sorry to see it close.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years ago

I am truly sad about this closure. I am a regular and eat there multiple times per week. I love the staff and owners like family. What a sad day. So much is closing downtown and it breaks my heart.

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Oldguy 2 years ago

Face it people Down Town is DEAD. I do not know anyone that will venture there after dark. Mid Town shopping center was the start of the downfall for Down Town Albany, then the Mall finished it off. Cost of doing business in Albany and Dougherty County has sent many businesses to Lee County. Go ahead and make it a parking lot or build some more government buildings there.

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whattheheck 2 years ago

I'm not sure it's the cost of business in Albany as much as it's a matter of "follow the money" taking things to Lee. People who live in NW Albany and beyond aren't going to spend time and money to drive downtown past a variety of businesses just to eat a lunch, or shop in one store. There are not enough workers downtown to support many eateries and most who do work there don't make enough to eat out 5 days a week. Big city we ain't and this simply won't change.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years ago

I venture there after dark all the time. No one bothers me at all.

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dingleberry 2 years ago

Downtown after dark is no concern to me but there is little reason to go there. I do know some who are concerned but they really don't want to be anywhere after dark.

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sue 2 years ago

there it is again that ridiculous untruth about going to downtown after dark. downtown is no more dangerous than any other part of the city after dark. I know I am downtown after dark frequently and have never been accosted, assaulted or anything else.

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VSU 2 years ago

No surprise there, and they really expect to revitalize downtown? You can beat a dead horse, but you can't wake it up.

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Parent 2 years ago

Oh no! Alot of Marine Base employees go there for lunch and everytime I go during lunch there is a nice crowd. Hate to see them go!

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dingleberry 2 years ago

Yes, Marine Base employees were the only large segment of non-downtown workers with both the money and virtually unlimited time to eat lunch. They will be missed.

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FryarTuk 2 years ago

Sorry, BJ. You gave it a good shot. Downtown is just a losing proposition. The market has voted with their feet and wallets. Stop throwing money away. A few of the old guard families will just have to suck it up. Offices and court houses that's what it needs.

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dingleberry 2 years ago

And that is basically what we have, government of all types. It will never again be a commercial area drawing folks from far and wide as was the case years ago. Things were different when folks lived in or near downtown and all business was clustered in a small area for that reason. A handful of downtown businesses will not draw folks back from the "burbs" when they live closer to 200 businesses. It just won't happen regardless of how many catch phrases and names can be conjured up unless a reason to go downtown becomes apparent.

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B4it 2 years ago

Downtown prosperity and future tax increases will not be solved until resident voters stop re-electing some of the City and County Commissioners and School Board reps who do not have a clue about making good business decisions (e.g. Pike and Postell, Hudgins and Stone, Riggins and June Bug).

The City and County governments need to be consolidated so that our infrastructure for making decisions is made to be much more efficient. There is also too much of a racist mentality that feeds on the thought of "we must not lose our power", and "we must protect our own", rather than what can we do together to make this city and county prosper to attract more business. Until we clean our house and get rid of the contaminents, we will continue to be subject to our own self-made sicknesses.

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haryl87 2 years ago

I'll say this, most of people on here voicing their opinion know NOTHING about Dtown Albany, why?! Because they never come downtown other than to court, tags, etc... So don't get on some website voicing your so called opinions, it helps NOTHTHING, what would help Dtown is for you to come Dtown and shop or eat!!! Granted that the people in this article work, owned businesses, and have other dealings Dtown, but the rest have no room to speak.

As for Aaron Blair he has been the BEST Dtown Mng we've had in years!!! He is making progress little by little. If the country as a whole states it may be 20yrs to get out of debt (which will never happen), how can a small entitlement city with over 47% poverty level revitalize in a couple of years???!!! IMPOSSIBLE!!! We have to be optimistic and help out, not sit back and complain. I was told last year to stop complaining about Albany and help things happen in Albany, and since then Albany is an AWESOME place to me.

So help the Dtown Mng make things better rather than just sit back and gripe and complain behind some user id because your real name isn't displayed (because if most of your names were posted you wouldn't post half of this garbage). Ask yourself, what have I done to support dtown Albany and Albany as a whole, because complaining isn't a resolution to the problem, it's what people do that are too afraid to get their hands dirty.

As for Donna Driskell, this is one women that knows her stuff! She was handed a failing business that I don't even think she knew was doing that horrible and attempted to bring it out of the black. I may not be a rocket scientist, but if you continue to throw your money into a endless pit, how can you ever get a return investment? YOU CAN'T!!! She also retained all of her employees from the location!

So in closing, my name is Haryl Dabney and I'll stand behind ALL of my words stated here!!! STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT WHAT THE ISSUES ARE AND GET INVOLVED. STOP SAYING THE DTOWN MNG ISN'T DOING THIS OR THAT, BECAUSE HIS DOOR HAS ALWAYS BEEN OPEN FOR ME AND I'M NOT A DTOWN BUSINESS AND HE DOESN'T CARE WHO YOU ARE, HE'S WILLING TO SPEAK WITH YOU! THIS GOOD OLE BOY SYSTEM AND THE POLITICAL RESTRAINTS HAS PUT A BURDEN ON THIS CITY THAT HAS BEEN HARD TO OVERCOME. AND I WILL SAY THIS I WILL MAKE IT MY MISSION TO CHANGE THIS AND ALBANY WILL BE REVITALIZE AND DTOWN WILL BE REVITALIZE WITH OR WITHOUT YOU.

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Albanite 2 years ago

Restaurant owners who "know their stuff" don't buy in locations where restaurants have failed before. Just FYI.

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Jacob 2 years ago

"how can a small entitlement city with over 47% poverty level"

47 % poverty and 99 % entitlement. It's never gonna happen, captain, no matter how many incoherent rants you spew...

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BoBJ 2 years ago

I wish I had know the previous owners were selling to who they did. She is the type of person who only cares about her self.

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FryarTuk 2 years ago

5pm roll up the streets. Forget about it!

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h_blair2183 1 year, 11 months ago

Stop complaining! Grow up and act mature!!! Downtown manager, Aaron Blair has done everything he could do!! He's making progress downtown little by little! Albanians, knock it off Aaron Blair is one of the best down town managers we've had in years and know one appreciates it! We works very hard to please everyone downtown! Thank you for all the nice compliments others.....

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