‘It’s home’: Customers start saying goodbye to Ruth’s Family Restaurant

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 5:34 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It was an announcement on Facebook that people were sad to see.

Ruth’s Family Restaurant announced on Facebook, “It is with a sad heart that we announce the closing of Ruth’s Family Restaurant as of December 30, 2023. Thank you for 13 wonderful years! Y’all come on in and get some grits while you still can and let us say goodbye.”

“I was very sad,” said Woody Merry, who has been a regular customer for more than 40 years.

Seeing the news made him reflect on what Ruth’s meant to him.

“This was my office when I first got started in the financial services industry. My office was in Savannah so I had to be at Ruth’s at eight o’clock in the morning. That’s how my day started,” he said.

The restaurant even made him some lifelong friends he ate breakfast with.

“He was coming by himself when I was coming by myself, so we just started eating together and we became very best friends. There was another gentleman who ate by himself. We said, ‘Come on over here and eat with us.’ So, the three of us ate together for probably 20 years every morning,” said Merry.

Merry said Ruth’s was unique.

“It’s home,” he said. “You don’t have many meat and threes anymore that have atmosphere and spirit like this place does.”

It’s a place that never disappoints and keeps Merry excited to come back.

“The food, getting something to eat,” he said.

Others liked the all-day breakfast option.

“The good ole grits and I love my scrambled eggs. I like it because it’s a simple meal that helps you get up and go,” said Alex Paulos, who’s been going to Ruth’s weekly for the last 15 years.

Everyone felt at home when they walked through the door, smelling pancakes and bacon, which is what kept customers coming back.

“It’s a homely type feeling. We walked through the doors. Like you’re at home, it makes you feel like you’re part of a family. And the atmosphere is fantastic. Everybody provides outstanding customer service and welcomes you to make you want to never leave when you come here,” said customer Robert Wallace.

Wallace said the customer service stands out above other places.

“You can tell when you come to here the vibes that you see, not just for the patrons that come in with, also the crew member that makes you feel welcome. And that’s what you do here that you don’t get in many places. Outstanding customer service and a family-like atmosphere,” said Wallace.

Now, the customers are reacting and getting Ruth’s while they still can.

“I need to get back over there and have a fantastic meal again. Get that family-type feeling when you walk in. The caring, understanding outstanding customer service that is going to be gone very soon,” said Wallace.

Overall, customers are remembering the good years and memories that came with the hidden gem with a red and white sign.

Merry said: “This is a landmark. This is a tradition that we don’t have anymore. You know, my kids grew up coming here to Ruth’s and eating when they were little kids. Now my grandchildren are coming into Ruth’s to eat and it’s been a great experience for everybody. It’s going to be a gap that can’t be filled.”

The restaurant’s last day will be December 30.