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Dozens of Manatee County restaurants closing
Friday, June 13, 2008
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Several restaurants in Manatee County have closed over the past year.

BRADENTON (Bay News 9) -- Dozens of restaurants in Manatee County are struggling, and some of them are being forced to close their doors.

According to the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, at least 30 restaurants in Manatee and Sarasota Counties have closed in the past year. The association said rising gas prices and unemployment rates could cause more restaurants to close.

Diane Boneham found this out the hard way, when she arrived at her favorite restaurant in Bradenton to eat lunch and found that it had closed.

"I'm heartbroken, I'm really heartbroken," she said. "We came for lunch today. We had no clue."
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There was no one there, just locked doors and a note explaining that RJ Gator's was now closed.

RJ Gator's owner Jerry Milne said the reasons were simple: business was slow, and the cost of food went up. Nonetheless, he said that closing the business was "hard...very, very hard."

"It effects my whole family, my partners and their families and certainly all of our customers," Milne said.

RJ Gator's isn't the only restaurant to close its doors in recent days. Cup of Joe's on Manatee Ave. recently shut down as well, along with the Snook River Grille, the Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon and the Seafood Shack.
RJ Gator's is just one of dozens of restaurants to close up in the past year.
RJ Gator's is just one of dozens of restaurants to close up in the past year.

However, even though some restaurants are not making it, some restaurants, like the Quizno's on Manatee Ave., are doing fine.

Lee Pattison, the owner, said business was slow just six weeks ago.

"We were very worried, we were very worried," he said.

He started offering major discounts to get customers in his doors, and to his surprise, it worked.

"It's pretty tough out there for folks to eat when they're on a budget, so we're doing our best here at Quizno's to do what we can for the community," he said.

Pattison said the price reductions aren't making him rich, but they are keeping him in business.

democracy wins
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bradenton in my opinion was kind of a working class town, i lived there for several years near 53rd avenue and that area im pretty sure is hard hit. bradenton must be struggling, or am i wrong?
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