DUBLIN — For many folks on the western side of Bladen County, the 41 Grocery and Grill was an icon — a meeting place where they could get a bite to eat and everyone knew everyone. Today, and for the past three weeks, that icon is closed and all but a memory.
A spokesperson at Dublin Town Hall said that all they knew was that the store had closed down and had no other details.
A bright neon-green colored sticker placed on the door by the Bladen County Fire Marshal’s Office asks that the occupant contact them to schedule a time for their routine fire inspection.
“The sticker would have nothing to do with the store being closed. The sticker is used for businesses (mostly churches) where there is normally no one on site to let us in to do a fire inspection,” said Bladen County Fire Marshal Bradley Kinlaw. “The sticker asked them to call us to set up an appointment to schedule a fire inspection. We are not sure why the store is closed.”
A local resident said that the business has been closed for about two and one-half weeks.
Environmental Health Specialist Diana Hester said that she had not been notified of any closings regarding the grill. Hester did say that, normally, a restaurant is supposed to notify the inspectors when they are closed, but many times that doesn’t happen.
“If we go back to do a routine inspection (and no one is there), we document for a year. If no inspection has been done for a year, then the permit expires and they have to get a new permit,” said Hester.
According to tax records and deeds, the property is owned by Wallace Cox.
The grill also experienced competition from nearby Champs on N.C. 41 across from Bladen Community College.