BYRON (WJRT) (1/12/180 - Small town restaurants are often the place where the community gathers to share a meal and talk about local events.
One such place closed Friday, making for a sad day in the Shiawassee County community of Byron.
Byron's Downtown Deli opened three and a half years ago. It's a hamburger and fries kind of place, which the locals love.
"This is the only place we have in town to come and eat and communicate with the locals," said Brad Shetler.
Friday afternoon, the restaurant closed. Although the place was popular, there just weren't enough customers to turn a profit.
"Comes down to numbers. Unfortunately, the profitability just wasn't enough to keep us going long-term," said Michael Lochirco, Byron Downtown Deli owner.
There isn't another place for the people of Byron to get together, have a bit and talk Byron High Schools sports or local politics.
"It's a very sad day in a small community to lose this kind of business where everybody comes and gets to talk," said Gordon Crawford, a customer.
"It probably was the hardest decision I've every made in my life, truly," said Lochirco.
Locals wonder what it will take to get and keep business in Byron.
"Trying to figure out what we can do to bring Byron back. We're still working on it," said customer Hugh Miller.
"We did have people that would drive quite a distance just to come out and have a sandwich and see everybody and see what's going on," said Lochirco.
The last of the food will be cooked up Saturday morning.
"We're still invited everybody out. We're going to have a whole bunch of coffee, orange juice, just kind of do a final farewell. Made a lot of friends here," said Lochirco.
People are invited to drop by tomorrow morning from 9 to noon.
Byron's Downtown Deli is located at 134 S. Saginaw St. in downtown Byron.
"We're losing a community treasure," said Crawford.