Skip to content

This Adored Regional Buffet Chain Just Closed All 13 Locations

It's not the only chain to say goodbye amid the coronavirus pandemic.

When Country Cookin began reopening its doors in June following the COVID-19 outbreak, things appeared to be looking up for the Virginia-based buffet chain. However, all 13 locations across the northern and western parts of the state have now closed.

Nine locations had reopened with hand sanitizer stations, mask requirements, and single-use menus by June 30, according to the chain's website. As Virginia entered Phase 3 of its reopening plan, self-service salad bars also resumed with complimentary deli paper and gloves.

Company president Tom Dodson, who was 16-years-old when he worked as a dishwasher in a Country Cookin restaurant in 1986, announced that two locations were closed for good in early September. A few weeks later, four more shuttered. The chain permanently closed all 13 of its locations on Oct. 18. (This chain isn't alone—here are 9 Restaurant Chains That Closed Hundreds of Locations This Summer.)

"We are grateful to the many friends, guests, and wonderful employees who have been part of our Country Cookin family over the past four decades," the restaurant posted on Oct. 18 on its website. "We pray for health, safety, and a prosperous 2021 for all."

The first Country Cookin buffet restaurant opened in 1981. During the chain's final weekend in business, all available food sold out due to an overwhelming response.

Other buffet restaurants have also closed for good amid the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. Two HomeTown Buffets in California, one Old Country Buffet in Chicago, one Ryan's in West Virginia are no longer open. Parent company VitaNova Brands shut the locations down to focus on a new line of restaurants.

For news of restaurant closures and openings delivered straight to your email inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter!

Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda
Filed Under