Dying Embers

8 p.m. on a Friday night. Any restaurant should be open this time of night. As I walk up Prince Street in Sydney, N.S. I notice the darkened dining room of one of the finest BBQ restaurants north of the 49th parallel. Embers Southern BBQ in Sydney, like many other businesses, has closed.

A couple of days ago, Embers announced via Facebook that they would be closing on July 6, “Unfortunately, sales just haven’t been there enough to keep things going any longer.”

I moved to Sydney from Halifax for the summer and I was delighted to find such a great restaurant so close to work. My colleagues and I would frequent the BBQ joint quite often, at least once a week. As soon as lunch started we would head out salivating to get a pulled pork sandwich and we would have the pleasure of being met with speedy friendly service from the fine staff. When we heard the news we were all incredulous towards our messengers. It didn’t make sense. Quality food and quality service all for an affordable price, these are all parts of the equation for a successful business.

Needless to say, we all made sure we had one last sandwich. Thursday afternoon I went over and spoke to the staff. You could see the sadness and hear the pain. These people loved the restaurant and its customers.

Their customers loved them, too. I feel like I’ve lost some friends. It was nice to see the same smiling faces whenever I’d come by. They’d greet me with a genuine “how are ya” and we’d joke about being addicted to the Carolina sauce or the pulled pork. “Maybe you should get that checked.”

They had planned to close on Saturday, July 6, but people came and ate everything up at a gracious 30 per cent discount requiring Embers to close a day early on Friday. “It was a good run, but we’ve run out of literally everything tonight. Embers is now officially closed. Thanks so much to all of you who’ve supported us!” Embers stated on their Facebook page.

This shocks me. Why is it that Embers suddenly became so popular when they offered a great discount at their end? They had always been a quality establishment but it sounds like they didn’t have enough customers to keep this delicious dream going. So, why did they run out?

I do not believe that Embers should answer this question. I believe the people of Sydney and the surrounding area should. When a great establishment opens, shouldn’t we support it? After all, at 8 p.m. on a Friday night, we do have a choice when we want to eat out.

________

In May I reviewed Embers Southern BBQ. If you are interested, you can read the review here.

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