Sudden Closing Of Popular Restaurant Leaves 100 Workers Without Jobs

100 People Lose Jobs With Closing Of McCall’s In Clayton  

A popular Johnston County restaurant has closed their doors permanently.

McCall’s Bar-B-Que and Seafood on Highway 70 in Clayton closed Tuesday night and will not reopen.  Employees arrived at work Wednesday morning and learned they didn’t have a job.  The main location in Goldsboro will remain open.

In a prepared statement, McCall’s said they decided to close the Clayton restaurant because of difficulty in managing two large-scale restaurants.  The statement said the owners made the hard decision this week to reign in their business and focus solely on the Goldsboro location and close the Clayton eatery.   The company will honor all gift cards and caterings out of their Goldsboro store.

McCall’s employed 100 workers in Clayton – 20 full time and 80 part time workers.

Several workers spoke with WTSB News on Wednesday saying they had no advance notice.   One employee said they were told in early December the restaurant would close after the New Year for remodeling and would reopen in several weeks.  As recently as last week, one employee said they were told the Clayton store would not close until March 1st for remodeling.

Workers left Tuesday night not knowing the restaurant would not reopen on Wednesday.

One employee, who wished not to be named, said he depended on the part-time job to pay his bills. He said he would have been looking for another job had he known he would be unemployed today.

McCall’s is owned and operated by Worth Westbrook and Randy McCall.

Reached by phone Wednesday afternoon, Westbrook confirmed employees were not given any advance notice of the closing but said workers could seek unemployment benefits.

Westbrook said he and business partner are both in their 60’s and looking to phase into retirement. They did not have adequate management staff in place to run the Clayton location, he said. Westbrook said the Goldsboro location had great management staff and would remain open.

“We’ve talked about it for a long time. Due to our age, we’ve talked about selling the Clayton business or closing,” Westbrook told WTSB.

The Clayton location opened in 2004.  The Goldsboro location has been in operation since 1989.

In September 2007, McCall’s in Clayton was struck by a single engine airplane that lost power and crashed into the restaurant causing a fire.  The pilot, Garry Reid of South Carolina, was killed. About a dozen employees were inside preparing to open. They were not injured.  The damage forced the business to close for several months before reopening in early-2008.

“It’s a stretch trying to run two really large restaurants, especially with semi-retired owners,” Westbrook added.  He thanked the many employees and customers of the Clayton McCall’s.

The Goldsboro location at 139 Millers Chapel Road off US 70 East will continue to operate uninterrupted.

Town Of Clayton Issues Statement On Closing
“Anytime an employer closes, especially unexpectedly, it negatively impacts families,” said Clayton Town Manager Adam Lindsay.  “We hope that their employees are able to continue with them or find viable job alternatives. Clayton is a great place to grow a business and we are generally seeing expansion and not contraction of businesses and so we are very hopeful that another employer will see Clayton as the right fit for them.”