Rebecca Whitley, owner of Nick’s Family Sports Pub, notified management Monday morning that the locks had been changed and the pub would not be opening for business because of financial reasons.
More than 30 employees were notified by management through phone call or text message that they no longer had a job.
Rebecca Stamper, former Nick’s employee, said this is not the first of Whitley’s businesses to close its doors. Last week she closed Yesterday’s Catfish Shack in Paducah, Kentucky.
“The employees were under the impression that Nick’s was OK since it was still making money,” she said.
Stamper said Nick’s was still making profit and passing all health inspections, so the closing came as a surprise.
“All of our employees were kind of blindsided,” she said. “We had no idea.”
Sierra Lagore, daughter of owner Rebecca Whitley, said the future of the business is up in the air. However, she said Whitley closed the business abruptly because she did not want employees to abandon the pub before it’s last day.
“She had to do what she had to do,” Lagore said. “She has a good heart and she cares about her employees.”
Lagore said Whitley owns other businesses outside of Murray but also works as a registered nurse. She said she tried to handle everything as best as she could, but ultimately was struggling.
A sign on the business’ front door thanks customers for “a great 13 years,” a sentiment accompanied by block letters that read, “permanently closed.”
Alyssa Schloss, former Nick’s employee, agreed that the pub’s closing came unexpectedly.
“I just woke up this morning to a text that Nick’s is closed,” Schloss said. “I don’t really know a whole lot more than that.”
Students and community members are disappointed by the news of the pub’s closing.
Peter Ney, senior from St. Louis, is one of many students, faculty, staff and alumni who are upset about Nick’s closing, which came just after Murray State’s Family Weekend.
“I’m really sad they closed,” Ney said. “They had great food and a really great atmosphere.”
Breanna Sill, Staff writer, contributed to this report.