The Jamesport Country Kitchen has closed its doors.
The 26-year-old institution on Main Road served its last dinner Monday night after owner and operator Matthew Kar decided to sell the business, as well as the building itself.
Kar also runs the Jamesport Manor Inn and two catering companies. He’ll now focus more on the catering business to accommodate the surge in demand.
“I like doing the catering better,” Kar said. “You get these wonderful thank you notes from the brides … It’s just such a high when you can pull it off.”
For him, the move made sense for the upcoming season, despite the steady business at the Country Kitchen, which previously served as a pancake house before Kar took over.
“I saw how busy this year’s catering was gonna be,” Kar said. “We’re really getting booked for this year and it’s showing.”
The Jamesport Country Kitchen is now on the market, but don’t worry: some of the standard dishes haven’t been lost. Mr. Kar said the manor will serve some of the Country Kitchen’s beloved meals.
“We brought the staple items down here,” he said. “We’ll rotate them in and out.”
All employees at the restaurant who wanted to continue on with the company have been moved into the catering businesses, Christopher Michael Catering and the more upscale Two Forks Catering.
Mr. Kar said Two Forks was founded two years ago and has been growing in popularity as more newlyweds and tourists flock to the area.
“The demand is there,” he said.
As for the Country Kitchen, Kar said he’ll remember the “26 fantastic years” he spent working there and thanked his customers for supporting the restaurant.
Now, Kar says he hopes that another young restaurateur can come into the space and turn it into something special like he did.