Popular Fuquay-Varina restaurant may be forced to close for good

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Joyce and Family Restaurant has been in business for the last 18 years, calling Main Street home for many of those. (WTVD)

A staple in downtown Fuquay-Varina could soon be gone.

Joyce and Family Restaurant has been in business for the last 18 years, calling Main Street home for many of those.

Now the family-owned business is in jeopardy of closing down for good, but the Staton family isn't giving up without a fight.

On a Tuesday afternoon, the parking lot sat empty as one customer after another pulled up to see the sign: "Closed until further notice."

"My momma used to say, 'It ain't over til God says it's over,'" said Joyce Staton.

The 66-year-old has run the restaurant, which specializes in southern home cooking, for the last 18 years. First, as carry out, then opening a restaurant on Main Street, outgrowing that building and moving down the road. However, the doors may be closed for good now.

"Not only did we have to close, but now you're paying money out," explained Timothy Staton.

Joyce's son, Timothy, said they've been out of business for the last month. A pipe burst, and there was no hot water. Then, back-to-back winter storms made it difficult to pay the bills. The power was shut off but even that couldn't keep the Statons from cooking in the parking lot.

"We're gonna try our best," Timothy said. "We're asking for help, but we're trying to help ourselves."

To reopen the restaurant doors, the Statons launched an online fundraiser to try to get the money they need to pay rent, but $15,000 by Wednesday morning may be out of reach.

"If it's meant for me to be back in here, God's gonna make a way for me to be in here. If not, I have to accept whatever. I have to accept," said Joyce.

Timothy worked as a system engineer on post at Fort Bragg for 17 years but moved to Fuquay-Varina to help his mother with the business and try to expand it.

"It was a dream of mine to come down here and help, and it's like it's ending," he said.

The deadline to pay their rent and keep the business open was originally set for Tuesday evening, but has now been extended to Wednesday morning.

If you'd like to learn more about it, you can visit their Go Fund Me page: http://www.gofundme.com/joyceandfamily.

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