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Richardson's Restaurant to close

December 28, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- Richardson's Restaurant on Dual Highway in Hagerstown will close next month after about 60 years in business.

Vicki Martin, who owns the business with her two brothers, said an economic recession and the addition of national restaurant chains to the area have taken a toll on the restaurant.

Richardson's final day of business will be Jan. 10.

"The restaurant business in general has been hurt by the recession," Martin said. "But ours has been hurt worse than others I guess."

Richardson's has about 30 employees.

Richardson's Restaurant opened in 1948, when it was known as Richardson's Drive In. In 1976, Jim Resh, a local businessman and owner of Jim's Always Restaurant, purchased Richardson's.

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It remained a drive-in restaurant until 1978 when Resh renovated the building and established it as the first salad bar and buffet in Hagerstown, Martin said.

When Jim Resh died in 1985, the business passed to his wife, Connie, and was managed by their two sons, Butch and Bobby Resh, and their daughter, Martin -- who own the business today.

Richardson's is best known for its fried chicken, crab cakes and homemade onion rings, Martin said.

"Daily sales just aren't enough to keep us rolling," she said.

Martin said the business has lost money every month this year since the recession began. Many customers also are frequenting more "trendy restaurants" opening at Valley Mall and other areas away from Dual Highway, she said.

"It was a great experience to have continued our father's vision and operate a family business for so long," Bobby Resh said. "We have developed many friendships with the people of this community, and we will miss the daily interaction with our customers and great employees."

Martin said the business will remain open through Jan. 10 to give customers a chance to use gift certificates they received over the holidays.

"We've had a lot of great experiences there," she said of Richardson's. "Unfortunately, due to the economics and everything, we've had to shut the doors down. We want to thank loyal employees and customers for keeping us in business as long as it's been there."

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