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


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


It was mostly timing that led to the restaurants closure, Thomas said.


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


Coach Ts 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 Floyds Barber Shop environment.


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


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


This 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, Thomas said.


The Coach Ts 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 Ts Diner closed, mainly that it shut down because Thomas is leaving USCA for another school. That is not true, he said.


I want to put that rumor to rest, Thomas said. I knew we had support and we were a popular place, but I can honestly say I didnt know how popular Coach Ts was until we closed. Weve received hundreds of phone calls and texts. Hopefully, were going to move and open up somewhere, some day. I dont think youve seen the last of Coach Ts.


Haley Hughes is the news editor for the Aiken Standard.