Update 13 June – Perhaps the best explanation comes from a Newsplex comment:
If you take time to read the letter provided by the Batesville Store to its clients, which is linked in the story, the reason for closing is clearly explained. They had been operating as a country store and were under the governance of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. However, it was determined that the store did too much business to remain a country store. The only option available was for them to become a restaurant and to comply with all Virginia Health Department regulations. The owners state in their letter that the requiremetn (sic)to operate as a restaurant was not viable for many reasons.
Update 12 June: See the bottom of this post for new from the Batesville Store that they are closing. For good. Surely the State could find a way to make this work for the good of the Batesville community.
Update 12 June #2 – cvillenews has more insight.
Update 11 June: The Newsplex reports:
A store employee told CBS19 that the reason behind the shutdown wasn’t a health issue, but a safety issue. He says the store had exceeded their seating capacity.
A country store is allowed to have 15 total seats by law, but The Batesville Store has over 40. The employee was frustrated saying that the Health Department hadn’t given them a warning.
Surely someone in Batesville can shed some light on this. The Batesville Store is fantastic – the food, ambiance, smells, location, beer, music … it would be a tremendous shame if it were to be shut down by the State of Virginia.
Just received via email …
Dear Friends of The Batesville Store,
I have some sad news:
The Batesville Store is closed until further notice.
Earlier today two representatives from the state of Virginia showed up at the store without warning, informed us that we were not in compliance with certain state regulations, and basically gave us no choice except to close immediately.This came as a complete shock to Liza and me. We believed that we had been operating in compliance with all state regulations since we opened in April of 2007, and we received no indication otherwise from anyone representing the state.
In fact, we have been inspected regularly by Warren Ollinger, the representative from the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services who is responsible for inspecting the store, and he has always given us favorable reports on our operation. He never suggested in any way that we would encounter what happened today. The two representatives who showed up this afternoon told us that Mr. Ollinger initiated the complaint and the subsequent review that led to the decision to close us down.
Liza and I intend to explore this matter further. I will let you know by email about any important developments.
We cannot find words to thank you properly for your support for our humble establishment. So I hope a simple “thank you” will suffice for now.
Update 11 June 2011: From the Batesville Store:
MORE DETAILS ON THE CLOSING OF
THE BATESVILLE STORE
HUGE BLOWOUT SALE BEGINS
SUNDAY, JUNE 12
NOON – 7:00 P.M.
Dear Fans of The Batesville Store,
As you know from yesterday’s email, the state has given us no option except to close The Batesville Store.
For the past five years, we’ve attempted to serve the community by keeping this classic, historic country store alive and thriving.Ironically, our success has proven to be our undoing.
Although we have always operated with an eye toward Virginia State Health Department guidelines (and have never been cited for a health code violation of any kind), we were in fact defined by the state as a country store and thus fell under the governance of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. We were regularly inspected by the Ag Department and were never informed of any significant problems with our operations.
However, the state representatives who suddenly appeared yesterday afternoon and shut us down without warning told us that it was decided (note the passive voice, please) that we do too much business to remain a country store. They went on to say that our only option for remaining open was to convert the store into a restaurant that would comply with all Virginia Health Department regulations.
Our kitchen is basically in compliance with Health Department regulations now. But the legalities of the store’s historic status as well as the limitations of the building itself make it impossible for us to meet the state’s other requirements for operating a restaurant.
We would have to make a host of changes in the facility to stay open legally, but because of a combination of the law and practical realities, we cannot make those changes.
So much to our regret, we are closing The Batesville Store . . .
AND SAYING GOODBYE TO OUR WONDERFUL SUPPORTERS WITH A HUGE BLOWOUT SALE – TAKEAWAY ONLY (NO TABLE SERVICE)
The sale begins tomorrow–Sunday. We will open at noon and close at 7:00 p.m.
EVERYTHING EXCEPT BEER AND WINE IS 50% OFF THE STICKER PRICE
BEER AND WINE . . . BUY ONE, GET ONE OF EQUAL VALUE FOR 50% OFF
When we say “everything,” we mean EVERYTHING.
Everything from the deli and bakery. All of our drinks. All of our groceries. All of our baking and cooking supplies. All of our serving dishes and plastic products and cooking equipment. All of our tables and chairs. All of our baskets. All of our t-shirts and caps.
WE WILL ALSO BE OPEN MONDAY AND TUESDAY NEXT WEEK (OR UNTIL EVERYTHING GOES) FROM NOON UNTIL 7:00 P.M.
THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO GET
BATESVILLE STORE FOOD OR
A MOMENTO OF WHAT WAS GENERALLY REGARDED AS THE FINEST COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENT IN ALL OF BATESVILLE
Thank you once again for your ridiculously wonderful support since we opened in 2007.
Cid and Liza