The future is not good for Red Bay Grocery, a popular gathering place in northeast Walton County. The store will close its doors on November 22, 2015.
After a six-year run which included a devastating fire in 2011, profits weren’t enough to keep it going according to major shareholder Charles Morgan.
“I had optimism that it would make money, and the employee market is tough up there, so hard we ran out of employees. Manager Callie Lindaas, had been there for a long time in many roles. At some time you need to pull away with it being so difficult to staff. The people that worked at Red Bay did a great job,” Morgan continued.
Red Bay Grocery was a favorite of many a traveler along State Road 81 in Red Bay, and a frequent stop for folks visiting Morrison Springs. The restaurant offered breakfast, lunch, and at one time dinner. It also boasted a wide variety of locally canned preserves and day-to-day necessities. The store also hosted events such as fishing and hunting tournaments.
Red Bay Grocery has been in operation off an on since 1936. The store has had 28 different owners over the years, and then closed in 2008, leaving the community without a gathering spot. In Feb. 2009, Morgan, a seasoned restaurateur and homeowner in Red Bay, rallied 50 local partners, and brought the country store back to life.
“I’ve never been involved with a place that small that had such an outpouring of people that loved it,” said Morgan.
The owner of the building, Arthur Gomillion, is not sure what the future will bring to Red Bay Grocery.
“I don’t know yet, there is a lady who wants to reopen it. I’m playing it by ear,” said Gomillion.