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THE FLOWER WILTS

Downtown cafe to close its doors after 30 years.

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The Yellow Rose Cafe, a mainstay of the downtown Court Square area, will serve its last meal at the end of the month, ending a 30-year history of home cooking.

Joe and Becky Keating, the cafe's owners for the past 15 years, said the lack of downtown traffic forced the restaurant's demise. "A lot of the offices that contributed to our clientele have moved out east," said Becky. "And the spotlight on dining has shifted to Peabody Place and Beale Street. There was no way we could continue to stay in business."

The restaurant, located at 58 N. Main, has a staff of 10, including some cooks who have been with the restaurant 20 or more years.

"You got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em," said Becky. "It was a decision we had to make, and we will miss the many friends we've made over the years."

Ironically or not, on the next to last week of its existence, the Yellow Rose seemed to be drawing turnaway business, with the wait staff scurrying to keep up with demand. One diner after another commiserated with Becky Keating upon checking out, and she told each one, "I could cry."

The Yellow Rose's last day will be Friday, November 29th.

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