Restaurant closes due to air conditioner - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Restaurant closes due to air conditioner

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - "I need one senior citizen's meal," says Doris Blackshear.

Eight dollars and fifty cents later, Doris Blackshear is on her way to the buffet line--a trip she's made many times.

"I don't ever think I've had a bad meal here," says Blackshear.

Doris is a regular at Mary B's Buffet in the Forest Hills shopping center on Atlanta Highway.

"We would come here usually about 3 times a week," she adds.

And if you ask others there, they'll tell you the same thing.

"I've been coming to Mary B's since the early 80's," says Kent Brantley.

So when they found out the restaurant was closing?

"I wanted to cry," says Blackshear.

"Really a sad day to see it close down and you don't find many restaurants of this size in this area," says Brantley.

Restaurant owners say the building is nearly 60 years old. And that's the problem. They say it's so outdated, it's costing them.

"The air conditioning system is basically a 1953 design and we're having to deal with 2011 utility bills," says Mary B's Owner, Jimmy Julian.

Julian adds the air conditioner is inefficient, and any profit he makes goes straight to pay the power bill.

"We turn it on and let it blow and the power meter just runs and runs."

Julian says he tried contacting the owner and property manager to see about updating the system, but says no one will take responsibility for repairs that could keep him from closing.

"That system belongs to him, not to me. And I'm not willing to take it from him and do the whole thing," adds Julian.

For two weeks WSFA 12 News tried contacting the property manager, but he never returned our phone calls.

Now, Mary B's employees and customers are forced to say goodbye to the beloved buffet line.  That is, unless regulars like Doris step up to the plate.

"I would like to see the community come together and maybe get involved with the upgrades and help it to stay open," she says.

Mary B's employees say the hardest thing about closing is saying goodbye to their loyal customers.  The restaurant closes Sunday, February 20th.

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