In a move that surprised customers arriving for a meal Friday, the Kalamazoo Cracker Barrel shut its doors Friday.
Corporate and local managers of the restaurant said it will be closed for good.
The reason behind the closure is the restaurant's inability to identify the source of salmonella that has appeared repeatedly. Cracker Barrel corporate officials, in a written statement sent to Newschannel 3, said the restaurant and Kalamazoo County health officials have been working to identity and remedy the issue, but have so far been unsuccessful.
"Nothing is more important to us than the health and well-being of our guests and employees," Cracker Barrel officials said in the statement. "In support of this investigation, we’ve taken steps to address any risk that may be present in our Kalamazoo store, and we’ve made substantial upgrades to the store and its procedures above standard requirements. However, despite the extraordinary efforts made to eradicate the presence of this strain in the store environment, we couldn’t get comfortable that we could prevent a re-occurrence and therefore we have made the very difficult decision to close the Kalamazoo location effective immediately."
The restaurant had closed for a few days in June due to health inspection issues.
The company also stressed that the issue is limited to the Kalamazoo restaurant only, and that the Battle Creek and other Cracker Barrel locations remain open.
Cracker Barrel also said it would be helping employees of the Kalamazoo store to find other jobs.
"At Cracker Barrel, it is our mission to treat our guests and employees like family, which is why right now our focus is on working with our employees in Kalamazoo to help them identify other opportunities as well as providing them with additional assistance," the restaurant company said in the statement.