Arris' Grill, which has been serving customers in Aiken in one form or another for 60-plus years, closed its doors Oct. 3.
The decision was made last week, according to Malcolm “Dean” Jolly Jr., whose father bought the business from George Karapatakis approximately 25 years ago. Upon Malcolm Jolly Sr.'s passing in 1990, Dean's mother, Vivian, took over the restaurant.
Arris' namesake was apparently Arris Karapatakis, George's brother.
“We just weren't bringing in the money to pay the bills,” Dean said on Friday in a phone interview. “Ever since the economy crashed, it's been a problem. Even in the best of times, the restaurant business is iffy.”
Arris', known around Aiken for its “old-fashioned” hamburgers and fries, was located in Mitchell Center on Whiskey Road.
The restaurant won the Aiken Standard's Readers' Choice Award for best hamburger in Aiken 15 years in a row, according to Dean.
“People always ask me what the secret is. It's not a secret; don't refreeze the meat. We bought ground chuck from Grice's and made them by hand. Our french fries were cut from jumbo Idaho potatoes,” he said.
Arris' Grill is advertised for sale “lock, stock and barrel” for $35,000.
It's the price Malcolm Jolly Sr. paid when he bought the restaurant from George Karapatakis.
“I want to give someone a shot at keeping it open. I have talked to two different people who are interested,” Dean said.
It's the customers that Dean said he will miss the most.
“I'll miss my customers sorely. I would like to give them my heartfelt thanks,” he said.
Those interested in purchasing Arris' Grill with “serious inquiries only” can call 803-646-2903.
Haley Hughes is the news editor for the Aiken Standard. She joined the newspaper in 2007 and covered the Aiken County government until her promotion in 2013. Hughes, a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, hails from Knoxville, Tenn.