Greencastle said goodbye to another small business and area diners bid farewell to a bit more variety Thursday, when Hank's restaurant announced it was closing its doors.
Hank's, located on Washington Street in Greencastle, posted a sign telling customers that continually rising costs forced the closure after four-and-a-half years in business.
"It's just kind of a bad thing all around. We struggled with the decision for a long time," said owner Bart Spencer. "We tried to hang on as long as we could."
Spencer says he opened Hank's to give Greencastle a healthy and cheerful dining option, and never expected to make record profits, but could no longer afford to operate at a loss.
"We had some real loyal customers who loved the food," Spencer said, "just not enough of them."
Hank's manager Carol Knapp says that a struggling economy and a changing business climate may have also played a role in the Hank's closure.
"The operating costs like food prices and insurance kills the small business person," Knapp said. "To make it, we would have to jump the prices up considerably. There are only so many people in Greencastle who will pay $7 for lunch these days."
Though she understands the challenges that small businesses face in a changing economy, she laments the loss. "We're seeing a whole way of doing business go down."
On their final day of business, several former employees came to Hank's for a last meal, and expressed their disappointment.
"They shouldn't close ever," said Amber Keck, 21, Greencastle. "It's really sad."
Keck said that slinging sandwiches at Hank's was her first job and she will always have fond memories of her time there.
Keck's companion, Amy Borden, 20, also got her start at Hank's and says that though there are plenty of fast food options available, eating at a family owned restaurant has it's benefits.
"They are more personal," Borden said. "They serve a different type of food when everyone else has the same thing."
On their final day in business, Hank's served up free drinks to customers and fielded good wishes in return.
When asked what was next on the horizon, Knapp, who has managed Hank's for four years, said, "I wish I knew."