BARRE MILLS — When Jay Breier bought Syl’s Supper Club three years ago, he had hoped to turn around the struggling restaurant. On Monday, two days after the doors closed for good, Breier said it was time to throw in the towel.
“We just weren’t busy enough,” he said.
The supper club, formerly known as Syl’s Place, was first opened by Sylvester Clements Sr. more than five decades ago. The restaurant has had a number of owners through the years, but it has kept its focus on family-style dining, specializing in steaks and its Friday fish fry.
Breier grew up in West Salem, and his family were among the regulars at Syl’s. He decided to buy the place three years ago after working across the road at Fox Hollow.
In its prime, the restaurant served more than 500 customers on a Friday night. In recent years, that number dropped by half, with the Friday fish fry continuing to be its best seller.
“Friday was always our busiest night,” he said. “But you can’t survive off of one night a week.”
The closing will affect about 25 employees. Breier said he is providing references and helping find jobs for his staff. The loyalty of both the staff and the customers was one of the highlights of owning the business, he said, and his biggest hope is finding a buyer who can succeed in breathing new life into the supper club.
“It’s sad,” he said. “I wanted to make it work. I hung on as long as I could.”
In its prime, the restaurant served more than 500 customers on a Friday night.
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