WINTER PARK, Fla. - A beloved barbeque restaurant in Winter Park has closed its doors after 35 years, in part due to a severe staffing shortage amid the pandemic.
"This is undoubtedly the hardest post I have ever done…" the announcement on Facebook begins. "After 35 amazing years, we have locked the doors on Bubbalou’s Winter Park for the final time."
The Bubbalou's Bodacious Bar-B-Que on Lee Road location has been a staple of the Winter Park community since 1986. Bubbalou's says the COVID-19 pandemic put the business in a bad position.
"Business has been off considerably, but the hardest part being the inability to find staff to hire. Despite paying more than any restaurant I am aware of, no one wants to work."
The restaurant says they closed with just four people employed and were closed two whole days per week as well as two half days.
"It wasn’t by design, it was simply due to the fact we have no staff and can’t find any," the post said. "Yes, damn you pandemic and the political machine for making it more appealing to not work than to be an active part of the workforce in our country. It’s pathetic. And it has disastrous results."
The Winter Park team members will move to the Apopka location.
"I am heartbroken, yet relieved. I am sad but excited to grow other locations into even stronger entities."
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