Dine at the 88 and say farewell


BUCKHANNON — After 15 years of operation, the 88 Restaurant & Lounge announced Wednesday morning that July 11 will be their last day of business.  The decision to close fell solely on the consequences of COVID-19, Robbie Martin explained.  Martin has owned the restaurant for the last three years, but he is hopeful someone new will eventually take over and create a wonderful, prosperous restaurant. 

The popular restaurant shut down on St. Patrick’s Day due to Governor’s orders and has unfortunately not been able to recover.  Martin explained that about half of the restaurant’s annual revenue comes from the timeframe that COVID-19 shut everything down.  “We lost three out of our four largest events – Strawberry Festival, the Methodist Conference and West Virginia Wesleyan College’s graduation.  Those are huge for us,” Martin stated.  “We bring in so much money in that time period, it is too hard to come back from now.  I am sadder for my employees above anything else,” Martin stated, “my employees are wonderful.”  Since closing on St. Patrick’s Day to the present, Martin estimates they have only brought in approximately 20 percent of what they would have normally.  

The hotel will remain and operate as normal, as well as the 88 Salon, ResCare and Dr. Miller’s dentist office.  They will still be offering event spaces and the pavilion area located towards the back of the building.  Although the 88 will not be able to cater the event until new ownership is in place, outside catering or bringing in food is allowed.   To rent an event space, call (304) 472-5000 or (304) 473-1988.  Martin is hopeful people will still consider them for their events. 

Martin explained that they did receive PPP funding, which allowed them to reopen and has continued to keep them running until now.  They were hoping for business to increase, but it just didn’t, he explained.  Martin believes that it has to do with some people not feeling comfortable, coupled with people not having the disposable income at the present time. 

The 88 Restaurant & Lounge is currently offering take-out, as well as outside dining at the pavilion.  They are following all safety precautions and guidelines, such as social distancing and using paper and plastic throw-away products.  Their famous baked potato soup and award winning 88 Buttermilk Pie will continue to be offered along with daily specials.  Insider Magazine named the 88’s Buttermilk Pie the Best in West Virginia a couple of years ago, Martin explained.  The 88 is not operating with their full menu, but instead a limited menu for what they’re offering each day. Their hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and they will be open Thursday and Friday this week, then Wednesday through Saturday the following week, with July 11 being their final day.  

Essentially a turnkey business, the restaurant space will be available for lease, including everything in it.  If anyone is interested in leasing the restaurant, they should contact the hotel at (304) 472-5000. 

Martin stated, “Thank you to all who have been loyal customers with us in the many years we’ve been open. We also want to thank the many wonderful employees who have worked so hard for the business.  May God bless you all.” 

With sunny, warm days in the forecast, bring your friends and family to enjoy a delicious meal and drinks and support the 88 Restaurant & Lounge in their final days of business.  The 88’s menu for July 2 through July 3 will be as follows:

Menu for Thursday, July 2:
APPETIZERS:
• Tai Chicken Flatbread Pizza

ENTREES:
• Chicken Caesar Wrap with Fries or Salad
• Stuffed Peppers with Mashed Potatoes
***All Entrees Served with Salad & Choice of House-Made Ranch or Italian Dressing.

SOUP & SALAD:
• 88’s Famous Baked Potato Soup Cup or Bowl
• Garden Salad
• Side Salad with Cheese, Tomato & Red Onion
* Salads Served with Choice of House-Made Ranch, Italian Dressing or Caesar Dressing

DESSERT:
• 88’s Famous Buttermilk Pie
• Triple Chocolate Cake
• Blueberry Pie

Menu for Friday, July 3:
APPETIZERS:
• Deep Fried Mac & Cheese Bites

ENTREES:
• Classic 88 Burger, Cooked Medium Well, with Fries or Salad
• Chicken Stroganoff over Egg Noodles
***All Entrees Served with Salad & Choice of House-Made Ranch or Italian Dressing.

SOUP & SALAD:
• 88’s Famous Baked Potato Soup Cup or Bowl
• Side Salad with Cheese, Tomato & Red Onion
* Salads Served with Choice of House-Made Ranch, Italian Dressing or Caesar Dressing

DESSERT:
• 88’s Famous Buttermilk Pie
• Triple Chocolate Cake
• Blueberry Pie

 

 

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