Owner Tom Courtney said the closure happened because the acting general manager was having some personal problems and decided to walk out. The manager put a sign on the window that said, “Effective immediately we are closed. Until further notice…”
Courtney didn’t find out about the incident until Thursday because he was in the Wilson County Jail for contempt of court.
Judge John Gwin held Courtney in contempt for being argumentative at a divorce hearing.
“Fighting over a man’s family can really put a damper on things,” said Courtney. “John Gwin is one of the fairest men on earth, though, and if there’s a man who cares more about kids, I’d be hard pressed to find him.”
He had also had previous charges, many of which were dropped except for a DUI in June.
“I’ve had a drinking problem in the past, and now with the divorce, I slipped up,” said Courtney. “We all make mistakes sometimes.”
Despite the brief closing of the restaurant, the staff and community all showed up when it reopened Thursday morning.
“I showed up, and all my staff was there ready to go,” said Courtney. “The community really turned out; it’s brought tears to me eye. Dewey Lineberry and Chuck Grover are two friends of mine who really helped out with everything going on. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Courtney said despite the current rough patch, he has no plans to close Courtney’s anytime soon.
“This divorce has been painful, but that doesn’t mean I’m closing my doors,” said Courtney.
T.J.’s Pizza was not affected by the incident and is no longer owned by Courtney. Local business owners Jennifer Kreusch and John Lockman are the current owners of the restaurant after they bought it from Courtney.