WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Silver Lake Oyster Bar closing doors Saturday

Today is restaurant’s 48th anniversary

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This is your last week to enjoy your favorite seafood dishes at Silver Lake Oyster Bar.

The restaurant is closing Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

“It is heartbreaking for me, my father, my staff and my family,” manager Rhonda Chance said in a prepared statement. “We were just not generating enough revenue to afford to keep it running.

“We are extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to try to bring back one of the most iconic landmarks in eastern North Carolina,” she continued. “It is unfortunate that we were unable to fulfill that dream.”

Silver Lake, located on N.C. 58, became a Wilson landmark soon after it was opened by Buck Dixon in 1969. Today is the 48th anniversary of the restaurant, Chance said.

The restaurant hosted many political events and fundraisers over the years as well as Christmas parties and special occasion meals. It was also a very popular place to dine for people who were in town for the tobacco market.

Dixon died in 2012, and his daughters took over the restaurant until it closed in January 2014. The restaurant was sold at auction a few months later to Reuben Davis, a Black Creek native and resident of Kinston. Davis is Chance’s father.

Chance said Monday afternoon that the family hopes to find a buyer for the property. If an investor is willing to step in immediately, that could keep the business open, she added.

In a Facebook comment on the Friends of Silver Lake Oyster Bar page, Chance said she is still praying for a miracle to keep the restaurant open.

When the Davis family reopened the restaurant in November of 2015, they changed the menu and continued to bring in live music to drum up business. But the income versus the outflow didn’t add up to keep the restaurant going, Chance said.

There were other setbacks as well. Last fall, Silver Lake drained following Hurricane Matthew when a berm was breached. The restaurant was built overlooking the lake. There have been other dam issues over the years.

Chance is hoping for a good week at the restaurant.

“It is our hope that the community will come out this week and support us in our final week in business as we say farewell,” Chance said. “Thank you so much to those that patronized our business.”

The restaurant is open Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

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