FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- For the past 75 years, Buddy's BBQ has been a staple in Fayetteville, serving up home-cooked meals and lots of great memories passed from generation to generation.
Started in 1946 by Buddy Hayes, the name and recipes have survived many ups and downs making the restaurant part of the city's downtown fabric.
In 1991, Hayes' daughter Janice took over the family business and helped it thrive, making even more lifelong customers that she treated like family.
But when the restaurant announced this week that it was closing its doors for good, there was no shortage of support from the community.
Janice and her husband, Rick, said they felt like it was the right time for them to end things on a high note with many family-owned businesses falling victim to the pandemic.
Buddy's hung on tight like it always did with a loyal customer base and a generous atmosphere.
Janice and Rick said they ran Buddy's for the past 30 years with help from their daughters and many great staff members, and they couldn't have done it without them. For them, seeing the smiles of their regulars made the years so great.
Rick told ABC11 that it wasn't an easy decision and the family wanted to thank the community for its support during the past 75 years.
"Just like the customers, it's going to take us a long time to get over ... because we're going to miss it ... just as much as they miss it," he said.