Employees upset after Clayton restaurant suddenly closes

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Employees and customers are upset after McCall's suddenly closed.

A popular Johnston County restaurant closed its doors suddenly overnight, leaving between 70 and 80 employees without a job.

McCall's BBQ and Seafood in Clayton closed Wednesday, and according to the notice posted on the door, it's so the ownership could focus on its flagship location in Goldsboro, which will remain open.

The restaurant had been open for 14 years and while employees were let go on payday, collecting their final checks, some said they feel upset they were given no notice.

"We heard rumors in like November and the manager's daughter, the owner's daughter, came in and told us that we weren't going to be closing," Moriah Pride said, a former server at the restaurant.

"And a little bit after that, it was like we're definitely not closing that everybody got that comfortable with their jobs, and then you know ... we were told the exact words 'your jobs are safe,'" said Jordan Brown, Pride's boyfriend and a former fry cook at McCall's.

While the restaurant's gross sales were about $3 million a year, the restaurant had problems hiring enough managers to keep it going, according to Worth Westbrook, one of the owners of the restaurant.

Westbrook said that though the possibility of closing was discussed with employees, they made the "conscious decision" not to let employees know when they would be closing out of fear that disgruntled employees would jeopardize the food.

But Pride and Brown think there was another motive.

"They needed the employees to stay through the holidays," Pride said.

"And then after people started putting a two weeks' notice, then they took it back, and said 'oh we're not going to be closing,'" she added.

Though both she and her boyfriend are on the hunt for new jobs to support their three children, they said they'll remember this one fondly.

"We would've stayed here until the doors closed." Pride said. "We wouldn't have left because, I mean, I love the people that I work with."
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foodjohnston county newsBBQrestaurantstore closingfoodClaytonJohnston County
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