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Some Local Restaurants Were Casualties of the 2011 Economy

Several Loganville and Grayson Restaurants didn’t survive 2011, but some new ones have moved in to take their place.

was the big story at the beginning of 2011. After almost not making it in 2010, the community rallied and ensured that on Jan. 1, 2011, Rivals Hot Dogs stayed open.  The rest of the story, however, did not have a happy ending.

Rivals had been the dream of owner Charles “Chuck” Sasser for years, but the downturn in the economy and some health related issues experience by Sasser nearly put an end to it.  However, Sasser took on a partner to manage the restaurant and initially everything seemed to be going well. But that didn't last and on Dec. 2, 2011, Sasser posted a message on a local message board, Loganvilleonline, announcing that Rivals had served its last customer two days before.

“End of Jan 2011, I handed reins over to another party to run, operate, manage, partner, or even own,” he wrote, adding that in the following months unsatisfactory food scores took their toll on the restaurant. “End of Feb Rivals received a U food score. Then in July it received another U and finally two days ago it received a Third U from the Health Dept. Each time they closed it down. This time they closed it until a hearing can be attended.”

Rivals had been the good news story of 2010 – not so this year.

But it wasn’t alone. Calls to in Loganville went unanswered. Patch received notification from a reader just before Christmas that a drive past the restaurant had revealed a closed sign. At that time there was still a message giving the hours of operation, but that is no longer the case. The number has now been disconnected.

has not closed, but it has reportedly re-located to Monroe and Sweet Aromas in Loganville also has closed its doors. The bakery had originally moved from C.S. Floyd Road to a new location off Highway 78 in Gwinnett County, but that location too is no longer in operation.

Grayson restaurants didn’t go unscathed either. Earlier on in the year Twisted Tavern closed, the much-heralded moved to Snellville and Jim Wu Lu also became another restaurant casualty of 2011. However, in the place of Twisted Tavern, and Moon Bistro Asian Kitchen is now open at the old location of Jim Wu Lu. In the next couple of months a new restaurant, Graft, is scheduled to open in the old Still Water’s location.

In Loganville too, there is some good news on the restaurant front. Rey's Cuban Grill had been a 2010 casualty, but in April 2011 it opened up again at a smaller location under the name and appears to still be going strong. Also, a new coffee shop, , opened in May and, a new seafood restaurant, took over the old Rey's Cuban Grill, bringing a taste of the Ocean to Loganville.

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