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March 3, 2020

Ruby Tuesday closes its Warrenton restaurant

Photos/Lawrence Emerson
The Warrenton restaurant at 74 Blackwell Park Lane closed Sunday.
Sign on the front door.
After almost 17 years in business, the Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Warrenton closed Sunday.

The company-owned restaurant opened March 18, 2003, in the North Rock mixed-used development along Lee Highway. Nearby businesses include Harris Teeter, Joseph A. Bank and CVS.

The eatery at Blackwell Park Lane “wasn’t doing well,” said a company representative who came to the door Tuesday afternoon.

He said other Ruby Tuesdays, including the one in Culpeper, will remain open but refused to answer other questions.

He pointed to a sign on the door, directing questions to the corporate website’s “Contact Us” button. Questions sent to the company remained unanswered at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

“Founded in 1972, Ruby is one of the oldest brands in casual dining,” Restaurant Business reported in September. “An effort about eight years ago to reposition the concept as a more upscale option proved disastrous, driving away core customers while failing to replace them with newer, younger consumers.

“It cycled through several CEOs and was sold for about $146 million in late 2017 to NRD Capital, a private-equity firm run by former restaurant franchisees.”

The restaurant chain last fall had “460 units,” down from 950 a decade earlier, the magazine reported.

Ruby Tuesday had closed “about 76” of its casual dining restaurants in 20 months, according to the article.

Jefferson Associates LP of Vienna owns the 1.5-acre parcel on which Ruby Tuesday built the restaurant.

For tax purposes, the county values the land at $1.2 million and the 6,600-square-foot building at $1 million.

Ruby Tuesday becomes the third Warrenton restaurant to close in the last six months.

McMahon’s Irish Pub & Restaurant and Red, Hot & Blue — in neighboring buildings on Broadview Avenue — closed Sept. 15 and Dec. 31, respectively.

Five University of Tennessee fraternity brothers opened the first Ruby Tuesday — named for a popular Rolling Stones song of the time — 48 years ago in Knoxville.



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Linda Ward · March 6, 2020 at 9:02 am
Wondered about what Jerome Fields posted too, so when we went into Five guys this week. Asked the manager what happened to the two Hispanic women that used to work there and he told me the same thing. Not a secret apparently DF.
DonkeyFarmer · March 5, 2020 at 10:09 pm
Jerome, do tell... How do you know so much about green cards, corporate politics, human resources, and Five Guys business practices?
Jerome Fields · March 5, 2020 at 6:51 pm
Applebee's next? Since they let the Hispanic ladies go from Five Guys because they had green cards, and when Corporate took over they didn't like that, the quality of the food has decreased.
Mick Jagger · March 4, 2020 at 4:15 am
Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you...
no weapon formed against me · March 3, 2020 at 10:25 pm
Poorly staffed, sub standard management, food would make you sick, and before closing you could smell weed permeating throughout the restaurant. Really! It was about time, you cannot run a restaurant with drunks, addicts, and anyone with a pulse. Someone must have a strong work ethic and determination to make the restaurant a success. I agree salad bar had brown sometimes wilted black lettuce, dressings mixed together, just unkept and dirty. Economic development needs to bring in a higher quality restaurant chains. Look at Culpeper.
BikerFriendlyGal · March 3, 2020 at 7:36 pm
Great question Truepat. Check out the soon to be released Town of Warrenton Comprehensive Plan update, which will probably continue to promote a bypass around the Town, further promoting the decline and disappearance of many Town businesses along Broadview Avenue......and even on Main Street.
Jill · March 3, 2020 at 5:27 pm
Is this the Town's plan? Poorly run businesses does not explain why new owners don't take their place. No new hire for the Director of Economic Development, design a widely unpopular plan to remake Broadview against the wishes of current businesses, take away Main Street stores' ability to advertise with signs... The tally of closed eateries does not include Pizza Hut or Sandy's kitchen. Just more more vacant storefronts for our ghost Town. I guess we should expect houses and tumbleweeds to replace these businesses. Town staff is killing it. Glad elections are coming up.
FalconDad · March 3, 2020 at 4:54 pm
If I had my choice I wish Applebee’s would leave. The Warrenton Applebee’s is always filthy and has by far the stickiest tables in Warrenton. Terrible management too. We’re always waiting for more options to move in like in Gainesville.
Bonnie C. · March 3, 2020 at 4:32 pm
No surprise here. While we dine fairly frequently at the Ruby Tuesday in Culpeper, the Warrenton location was horrible. Salad bar always looked picked through & tired, with a lot of spillage onto the floor & just left there; tables were dirty/sticky; & the whole place just looked uncared for & unhygienic the couple of times we visited.

In comparison, the Culpeper location is always spotless, staff is friendly, & the salad bar (our favorite part) always looks fresh & filled to the brim.
ella82 · March 3, 2020 at 4:13 pm
Certainly no surprise. It had turned into a greasy spoon like all the others along that strip including Paneras. These restaurants seem to think they can get by with no upkeep of their facility and the bare minimum of food quality. An Olive Garden, Zoe's Kithchen, etc.easily could replace them all but won't because evidently the powers in charge like their Popeyes,Taco Bells, KFC, McD, etc too much to change
Truepat · March 3, 2020 at 4:01 pm
Businesses are closing fast in Warrenton, does the local government have a plan in the works? Gainesville seems to have found the answer.......
Linda Ward · March 3, 2020 at 3:39 pm
Not much of a surprise. The quality of food and service had gone downhill years ago. Panera's is always busy, it would be great to have another location in Warrenton.
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