HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A popular bar and grill in Huntsville is closing its doors next week.
'3rd Base Grill' employees say the lack of cooking staff and uncertainty about the sold property their building sits on, is why they're unable to keep things running.
Gwen Perry has worked as a server at the grill on and off since the restaurant set up shop in the early 2000's.
"We have some customers today, that I was seeing in 2008 and 2009. They're in these doors every week. They're not customers. They're family. They become family very quickly."
They recently announced on Facebook they'll be closing their doors for good.
"We don't have the manpower to continue to do what we need to do to keep this business operational. We have the business as far as the customers."
Perry continued, " but being able to have the staff to run it appropriately we just don't have. And added to the uncertainty of this building, the cost of things going up."
She says they've been looking to fill a cook position for a year now and about a month ago one of their beloved cooks died from a massive heart attack.
Right now, the owner of '3rd Base Grill' has been cooking the food and working 16-hour days. Along with a fry cook who has stepped up to the plate.
"It's heartbreaking for all of us. It was not a decision that was made easily, nor lightly. This is family. This is a place that the ones of us that are here, we love it here. We enjoy our customers. We enjoy what we do," Perry said.
Erika Madden has been coming to the grill with her family for over 10 years.
"They've actually saved my dinner plans more times than I can count. After sports or a hard day at work and you just don't feel like going home and cooking. We would come here and all six of us would eat," Madden said.
Many people come to the grill for the wings or burgers.
"I have one son that tried chicken wings here for the first time, and now it's his favorite food so he won't eat anybody else's wings," Madden said.
And Madden's 4-year-old daughter, Hattie, has grown up loving their ranch along with her requested "un-crusted" grilled cheese.
But ultimately it's the love, care and family atmosphere that keeps people coming back.
Perry says they'll serve their last meals on October 13.
"We want to be able to see everybody before we shut the door for the last time."