ROCK HILL, S.C. — The White Horse Restaurant and Bar in Rock Hill abruptly closed its doors after 44 years.
“It is with very heavy hearts that we announce the White Horse restaurant is now closed,” the business posted Monday night on Facebook.
The post thanked loyal customers who have become like family and the staff members who’ve served the community for many years.
Customer Bob Norwood said he is in mourning.
“There’s a big hole in Rock Hill today,” he said.
Norwood and his wife have been dining, meeting friends and making new ones at the White Horse since it opened on Cherry Road in 1976.
A sign posted inside the door read: “Closed. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
Norwood said he ordered takeout four days ago.
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“We got takeout and sat out and ate there on the patio,” he said. “I had no idea that would be our last time there,” he said.
The local restaurant, which served a variety of dishes, first opened on Cherry Road at Charlotte Avenue where there is now a CVS Pharmacy.
Most knew about the White Horse after it moved near Cherry Road on Camden Avenue.
That was where Rachel Taylor and her husband held their wedding rehearsal dinner a few years ago.
“Just the hometown feel,” Taylor said. “We had people coming in from out of town and just wanted to give them good, local food. It’s sad to see it go.”
The restaurant moved to the new sports and events center on West White Street less than two years ago.
It was an opportunity for the signature Rock Hill restaurant to be a part of something new.
There will be a hotel, and there’s a promise for major amateur sports tournaments, which would draw thousands ofout-of-town diners.
The development wasn’t enough in 2020 when restaurants were shut down, then limited to half capacity, because of the pandemic.
COVID-19 also slowed the overall development of the project.
“I think the combination of the virus and the 50% capacity, and the location all came together,” Norwood said. “It was like a perfect storm.”
Channel 9 was not able to get in contact with the owners of the White Horse Tuesday for comment.
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