I always hate to hear when a Texarkana restaurant closes its doors but over the weekend I learned that B&J's Downtown Diner and Creamery has closed.

With the revitalization of the downtown area, I was really hoping that this restaurant would have made it. Unfortunately, it fell upon hard times financially during the COVID pandemic in 2020, then with the recent snowstorm this year and the reconstruction and road work in front of the Post Office it was just too much to recover from. The business owners opened in 2020 and we're excited to achieve a lifelong dream of opening a family-owned business that would serve the community with great food in the former Joe's Pizza location.

Below is a statement posted on their Facebook page of some of what they said in making the decision to close their doors.

"We opened the diner in 2020 with no money and knew the only way it was going to work was from the support of our friends and family."

The first four months, even with covid, were amazing. We decided to open for breakfast as well and during this time something really amazing begins to happen. People were coming to eat every day and an extended family was born. This was more than just a place to eat, it was like sitting down to eat a meal with the family and your friends. So many new friendships were developed between the staff, people coming to enjoy a meal, and just wanting to get out of the house and have someone to talk to or enjoy the atmosphere and the old 50's music.

As the year went on, we had the construction project that developed outside in the street and the street was shut down for seven months. This became a huge problem as the parking was not available and a lot of our customers were older and had a hard time walking the long distance to the diner from the nearest parking locations. We had to shut down a few days here and there for the snowstorm in February and to deal with COVID. Sales slowed down significantly from late October thru February and that became obstacles we could not recover from financially. About June things begin to pick back up and a great turnaround, but the damage was done back in those months with the road being closed.

A special thanks to Janet, Carolyn, Amanda, Daley, Jaelyn, Mallory, Olivia, and the Garret Boys for your dedication to the diner. We love all of you for what you made the diner and the memories we shared. Janet stepped in when no one really knew what they were doing and managed while cooking great food, she made the diner her own. Carolyn, there is so much to say thank you for, those desserts are famous, we love your smile and daily work ethic to keep things going, definitely, a joy to have in our life. Amanda came on the last several months and truly made a forever impact and became like family.

Last but not least, thank you to everyone that came and become part of what we tried to do, with much love to all of our friends and family.

Here are a few responses from former customers.

Mario Garcia

KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the big headlines were the year you were born