The fight has gone out of the 356th Fighter Group.
The Green restaurant with a World War II theme will close at the end of business on Saturday, owner Bob Scofield said Tuesday.
Scofield, 55, said the past few years have been a struggle with the weak economy, particularly for independently owned restaurants. When times got tough, he had no corporate pockets to rely on, and he said he has been in bankruptcy for several years.
Lately, his problems seemed to be mounting with electrical blackouts and broken pipes during the recent extreme cold weather, including a 6-inch line from his sprinkler system that caused 15,000 gallons of water to flood the restaurant early Thursday morning.
“It’s been a great run for us, but lately, it’s just been one too many things,” he said.
The restaurant, at 4919 Mount Pleasant Road NW, near the Akron-Canton Regional Airport, was opened in November 1986 by Specialty Restaurants Corp., of Anaheim, Calif., which operates theme restaurants throughout the United States.
Scofield and his wife, Tina, purchased the restaurant in 1990 and have owned it for the past 24 years.
Green Mayor Dick Norton said he was not aware of the upcoming closing. “That’s sad news because he’s been a good operator for years. That’s a sad day for Green. We’re sorry they’re closing,” he said.
Scofield said he recently came out of bankruptcy, but has been bogged down in other problems.
He said the restaurant often suffers power outages, including one on Dec. 21, the Sunday before Christmas, which lasted from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. The restaurant had 450 reservations for Sunday brunch that day, and likely would have served 650 to 700 in total.
Then, on Jan. 8, a series of pipes burst due to the sub-zero temperatures. The following morning, Scofield said he got a call of a fire alarm at the business about 2 a.m. A 6-inch water pipe from his sprinkler system had burst.
Insurance covered the damage, which was cleaned up by Design Restoration & Reconstruction of North Canton, but Scofield said it was the last straw.
Mayor Norton said he was not aware of any electrical problems in the area, which is near the Stark County line, but said he was sorry for the loss of jobs in the community.
“It was a good restaurant for many, many years and it’s sad to see it go,” he said.
Scofield said he was able to move all parties booked at the restaurant to Prime 93 restaurant in New Franklin, so no one will be without a venue for an event.
As far as gift cards go, Scofield said they will be honored at the restaurant through Saturday. After that, he said he hoped to work out a deal with other area restaurants to accept them, but that was not in place yet.
Scofield said he would be willing to sell the building and hopes someone can do something with it in the future.
The band LaFlavour is scheduled to play at the 356th on Saturday night, the same band that helped to open the place, he said.
“We’re going to have a farewell flight,” Scofield said.