A Master's tradition outside the gates is coming to an end. The IHOP on Washington Road is preparing to close its doors for good at the end of this month. It's been a hot spot for breakfast during Masters week and a year-round staple for locals. WJBF News Channel Six's Dee Griffin has more on the end of an era.
For 35 years.. This IHOP on Washington Road has been cooking up good food to local residents. During Masters week it has served good friendships. Server Carol Parker says, “during Masters week we get real attached to some of the guests. They come in here every morning and they meet their friends, they exchange tickets and they talk about who's winning and who's losing and it's just really exciting.”
Every year, the restaurant is the first stop for hundreds of people who come in for fuel to start their day of walking the Augusta National course. Every day, it is a place that has provided nourishment for local residents and even fed the careers of employees. General Manager Darrell Addison explains, “I came here as a part time job, washing dishes and what not. Opportunities presented themselves and I'm the General Manager.”
The restaurant's owners have been leasing the building which is now owned by the Augusta National. The building's lease ends at the end of April and won't be renewed, stirring mixed emotions for those who rely on the business. “Bittersweet. Really. We knew one day it would happen because we're leasing from the Masters and now they are taking over. Everything else started to leave and we knew eventually our day would be here as well,” says Addison.
As the days wind down to the end of an era.. Emotions are building up for longtime employees and friends. “This little place will always be special to all of us,” Parker reflects.
Employees from the Washington Road restaurant will be working at IHOPs two other CSRA locations.