Capitol Oyster Bar saved by community support

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The noise in Capitol Oyster Bar is music to owner Lewis Mashburn's ears.

"My prayers have been answered I'd guess you'd have to say," says Mashburn.

It also explains why waitress Darlene Fox is straining to speak.

"The reason I'm hoarse is we've been so busy this week," says Fox.

The last few days have been profitable.

"Yesterday was the busiest day we've had since I bought the restaurant in '96," says Mashburn.

It's been emotional, too.

"The customers are crying, I'm crying. Ya know it's just a happy feeling," adds Fox.

"We've been blessed," says Mashburn wiping back tears.

WSFA 12 News visited the restaurant last weekend after Mashburn announced to his employees he was shutting the doors.  Little did he know, our story would send regular customers to the rescue.

"We want him to stay open. And if it's customers he needs, we are here," says Willie Pace who frequents the restaurant for lunch.

Last week, an empty restaurant was the norm. But the last few days the tables have turned with a packed house and rarely an available table.

Fox says she can't imagine the restaurant closing especially since the folks there are her family.

"The shucker was the best man at my wedding," says Fox.

But neither can customers who say Capitol Oyster Bar is part of their lives.

"We know everybody. We come every week," says Betsy Pepper.

It's a feeling Mashburn hopes will continue, since their loyalty is his livelihood.

"As long as we got customers, I don't have to quit."

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