Popular restaurant closes

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Country’s Barbecue in Southland Village closed permanently at 8 p.m. Sunday, and the others cited economic conditions.

The Troy location was one of four Country’s Barbecue locations, two others are in Montgomery and one in Prattville. The Troy location had 34 full- and part-time employees.

“If more people had eaten with us more often, we might have been able to stay open but it didn’t happen,” said owner Larry Powell. “When we opened in Troy in 1996, we counted on support from the university but we never got the support we anticipated. And, too, the economy had a lot to do with the decision to close. There were several things.”

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Among the “things” Powell noted was the porcine epidemic that was diagnosed in the United States in mid-May 2013. The virus affects only pigs and killed more than nine million baby pigs.

“The virus started in Canada and came down through the Midwest,” Powell said.

“Most of the hog market comes from the Midwest so the pork market ran short. Where we’d been paying a dollar a pound for pork, we were paying two dollars. We couldn’t raise our prices enough to cover the increase because, if you raise prices too quick, people shy away.”

Powell said China’s big share of the pork market continues to raise the price of pork on the domestic market.

“Bacon’s four dollars a pound,” he said. “Pork’s at two dollars a pound and we get 45 percent shrinkage. It’s tough to make it.”

Powell said corporate restaurants enter the equation and then local owners sometimes fall by the wayside.

“And, too, our corporate office is 50 miles away,” he said. “Just a lot of things.”

Powell thanked the employees of Country’s Barbecue in Troy for their efforts. He expressed appreciation to all the customers who have dined at Country’s Barbecue in Troy for 18 years. “We ask for their continued patronage at Country’s Barbecue in Montgomery and Prattville,” he said.