Popular Newport restaurant closes suddenly

Popular Newport restaurant closes suddenly

Posted:
Rusty Barn restaurant is located on Epley Road in Newport. The restaurant's 13 full-time employees say they were given no reason for losing their jobs. Rusty Barn restaurant is located on Epley Road in Newport. The restaurant's 13 full-time employees say they were given no reason for losing their jobs.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

NEWPORT (WATE) – A popular restaurant in Newport closed without notice Wednesday night. Employees are left without a job, just a week before Christmas.

Rusty Barn restaurant is located on Epley Road in Newport. The restaurant's 13 full-time employees say they were given no reason for losing their jobs.

"We get paid every 2 weeks and we were supposed to get paid tomorrow. We're not expecting that paycheck," explained waitress Marie Gibson. "We're not going to get our pay and it's around the holidays. They could at least tell us something about what's going on."

The owner, Sarah Worley, who took over the restaurant last year, said she did not want to show her face on camera or say why the restaurant closed.

"I just want my employees to know I'm very sorry and I'll do my best to pay them," she said.

The restaurant's former owner, Budi Raharja, was at the restaurant for some equipment and had a different perspective. 

"I think they just don't care about it. They just do what they want to do," Raharja said.

Customers of the restaurant were also in disbelief. 

"I was like oh Lord, what happened," said a surprised Pedro Gudger. "They had really good, really excellent food. They had good people, good waitresses," he added.

Staff wonder how they'll make it through the holidays.

The Cocke County Chamber of Commerce was unable to shed light on what happened, referring us to the owner.

The restaurant has mostly good online reviews. Some called it a little overpriced, but the waitress and customer we spoke to disagreed.

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