USC Aiken head baseball coach Kenny Thomas said Coach Tís Diner will, hopefully, reopen somewhere, some day.

The restaurant closed on June 21 after three years in business.

It was ďmostly timingĒ that led to the restaurantís closure, Thomas said.

ďOur lease was running out in the very near future, and we felt like we had done as much as we could in that building,Ē he said. ďMs. Judy (Thomasí wife) had worked extremely hard to build the business for three years.Ē

Coach Tís Diner opened at 1552 Whiskey Road in 2011 and served Southern favorites, like fried green tomatoes, fried bologna sandwiches and key lime pie in a ďFloydís Barber ShopĒ environment.

At lunch time, customers could watch Floyd, Andy, Barney and all the other Mayberry residents on Coach Tís four big-screen televisions.

The idea for Coach Tís Diner grew out of the success of Coach Tís Lunch Wagon, which the couple opened that same year out of a trailer on Dougherty Road.

ďThis was never about money for me. I wanted a place where people could go, enjoy, eat at a fairly reasonable price, have a good time and hang out,Ē Thomas said.

The Coach Tís Lunch Wagon is still operating and is parked at the Savannah River Site for lunch Monday through Thursday.

Thomas said many rumors have surfaced as to why Coach Tís Diner closed, mainly that it shut down because Thomas is leaving USCA for another school. That is not true, he said.

ďI want to put that rumor to rest,Ē Thomas said. ďI knew we had support and we were a popular place, but I can honestly say I didnít know how popular Coach Tís was until we closed. Weíve received hundreds of phone calls and texts. Hopefully, weíre going to move and open up somewhere, some day. I donít think youíve seen the last of Coach Tís.Ē

Haley Hughes is the news editor for the Aiken Standard.