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Fatz's unannounced closing

Clinton customers and store employees suddenly don't have a place at the "gateway" to Clinton


Dining in Clinton takes a major hit from the sudden closing Wednesday of Fatz Cafe, 179 East Corporate Center Drive. 

No advanced notice was given, and the company’s Facebook page has not been updated since July 18. 

Its website says customers leaving a review are eligible for a $500 prize giveaway on Sept. 1.

It wasn’t immediately known how many Clinton people lost their jobs because Fatz abruptly closed.

It wasn’t known what people are supposed to do with their gift cards.

The restaurant had 18 locations in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. 

SC locations, and communities impacted, also include Camden, Florence, Greenwood, Greer, Lexington, Orangeburg, and Rock Hill. 

Its corporate location is listed as “South Carolina.” 

In Clinton, the restaurant location is at the Hwy 72 - I-26 intersection that city leaders call the “gateway” to Clinton, located beside the Hampton Inn & Suites. Its parking lot has two huge potholes. The restaurant company has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to several media reports.

It recently announced breakfast and brunch in several stores, and announced an “unveiling” event that later was cancelled.

A report said Fatz was founded in 1988, peaked at nearly 50 stores in 2011, closed 32 in 2019, and then closed another 10 in 2020 after a 42% sales decline.

“It adds to a flood of recent restaurant closures as problems brought on by the pandemic and its aftermath become too much to bear,” reported Restaurant Business on-line. 

A Facebook post by former Clinton store manager Mundy Woodruff about favorite moments has received 86 comments.

JUNE 21 issue:

Fatz renews commitment to quality with a menu featuring familiar favorites and creative additions

Taylors – Fatz Southern Kitchen, a South Carolina-based restaurant with 18 locations across the Southeast, including Clinton, is rolling out refreshed lunch, dinner and weekend brunch menus with all made-from-scratch items. 

Additionally daily breakfast will be available at select locations. 

The menu will include a blend of signature favorites and creative new additions, all while maintaining the flavors of Southern comfort that guests have enjoyed for the past 35 years.

“This is the Fatz our guests know and love – only better,” explained Anthony McCallum, Fatz vice president of operations. 

“We’re excited to introduce you to our fresh, made-from-scratch southern food that doesn’t compromise on quality or flavor.” 

Guests will still enjoy familiar favorites like Calabash chicken and renowned fall-off-the-bone ribs. 

Exciting creative additions include the made-to-order Monte Cristo sandwich, Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich, Skillet Cornbread and the Strawberry Summer Salad, plus scratch-made desserts like homemade cheesecake, cobbler, and brownies.

The breakfast and brunch menus feature chicken fried steak and eggs, French toast, blueberry pancakes, Belgian waffles, skillet scrambles and biscuits and sausage gravy. 

Options abound with daily chalkboard specials such as chicken pot pie, sweet tea brined chicken, pot roast, all-you-can-eat ribs and prime rib. 

Guests can also expect new and improved beverage options including the cocktail menu with favorites like the Old Fashioned and Moscow Mule, as well as updated beer, wine and non-alcoholic options.

“Our menu additions maintain the essence of Fatz while incorporating new flavors and enhancing the overall quality of our guests’ experience,” said McCallum.

Fatz is focused on hiring local management and investing in professional leadership to stay connected with the needs of staff, guests and the surrounding community.

A robust catering menu is available to serve guests outside the restaurant for personal, business or social occasions.