ANDERSON — The decision to retire from the restaurant business had been made for awhile, according to Gary Yeary, owner of The Cabbage Rose Eatery & Gift Shop.
But with his wife and co-owner, Beth, dealing with a recurring medical issue involving one of her feet, the couple recently decided the time for a change was now.
“The long hours standing have taken a toll on me,” Beth wrote in a post this week on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “Therefore, after much prayer and discussion with the family we have decided that this would be a good time to retire and close our doors. This will be effective immediately.”
Their announcement was greeted with an outpouring of comments that mixed sadness with understanding.
“I’m so sad to see you all close, but I’m so happy that you have put your needs first and made yourself (and your health) a priority,” one commenter wrote. “I hope you enjoy this chapter more than the last.”
Gary Yeary said he and his family were overwhelmed by the sentiments expressed in many private messages, notes and conversations with customers they’ve had over the years.
“We’ve developed a lot of friendships over the years, so it’s sad for us to reach this point,” he said. “Our customers, we’re like family. But we’re ready to move on do something different and enjoy ourselves a little bit.”
The restaurant occupied a prime location on Meridian Street, which has seen an influx of new eateries, arts centers and other amenities that have bolstered the neighborhood’s image as an after-hours entertainment destination. While the building is privately owned, city officials say they’re ready to facilitate the process of filling the location, preferably with another restaurant.
“We’re currently courting a number of high quality eating establishments as far as filling some of these downtown locations,” said Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department. “This (opening) will factor into it.”
Winkler noted that the building has a fully finished commercial kitchen that has passed its most recent inspections by the county’s health department.
“With a kitchen that’s ready to go, it’s going to be a great opportunity for someone,” he said.
The restaurant and gift shop will hold a closing sale the last two days of July, offering furniture and other items. Gary Yeary said he and his wife and working on developing a cookbook featuring some of the restaurant’s most popular recipes, and some online projects are also in the works.
But for the next few weeks, he said, they’ll take some time to rest and adjust to a new season of life.
“We’ve had 31 years, and we’re just tired,” he said. “We wanted to go out on our terms, and we’re just going to enjoy our retirement.”