Closing Time

This wasn’t the best week for Decatur. Akorn, a pharmaceutical company, pulled the rug out of its 400+ employees, and told them all to go home without a job. There was no warning or notification of the plant closings. Right now, the company is facing a class action lawsuit from a handful of its former employees and is being investigated by the state for not providing prior notification of the loss of jobs.

On the bright side, many local organizations and businesses have reached out to Akorn’s former employees with information on available jobs in the city and other help.

There’s no doubt about it. It was a dirty thing for Akorn to do, and it might have been downright illegal. People didn’t even have time to look for new jobs or prepare financially. They didn’t know they should be putting off larger purchases, like for a home or car. Most people are living paycheck to paycheck, so something like this could affect their credit for years to come. It’s not right.

Luckily, there are many job openings in Decatur that are suited for workers with manufacturing and/or lab experience. I’m sure local businesses will be thrilled to choose from employees who regularly showed up for work. That’s not so easy to find these days.

I wish everyone well who was affected. Life has its rough times, but you usually come out better than before on the other side. It just isn’t so easy when you’re still going through it.

Speaking of closings, Decatur has had quite a few, to say the least. Obviously, we’ve lost a lot of manufacturing jobs, but we also lost a lot of businesses that added to our quality of life. You do start developing a complex after living here for so long, but Decatur is very resilient.

I’ve been trying to replicate the recipes of some of my favorite meals from restaurants that are no more. The restaurant that I most miss is Cheddars. Yes, I know it was technically in Forsyth, but still…

There were so many family memories in that building. When my children were babies, they were always so intrigued by the fans, so I made sure we sat beneath them. They were a lifesaver for parents trying to get through a meal with a baby, though I was lucky. My kids always behaved well in restaurants.

My daughter’s first job was also at Cheddars. It was the place for many of my adult years. I can’t believe it’s gone. Losing it, and watching the building being torn down, stung.

I also miss Paco’s downtown. The food and atmosphere was great, as were the servers. I also loved supporting a downtown business and just spending time downtown. A new sport’s bar themed restaurant is going in its place, and while I don’t think it’ll be quite my thing, I hope it does well.

This weekend, I’m going to try to make Paco’s chicken chipotle horseshoe. I don’t remember exactly what was in it, so it’ll be mostly my creation. The cheese is the hardest part with a horseshoe. It either makes it or breaks it. If the cheese ain’t right, you might as well throw it in the trash. However, I’ve nailed Cheddar’s loaded nachos, or whatever they were called. They taste exactly the same.

Somebody should put together a recipe book based off of old Decatur restaurants that are no more. I’m not a talented cook by any stretch of the imagination, so somebody else will have to take the reins on that one.

Of course, I don’t want to just mourn what is no more, maybe I could find a new favorite place. They have to make terrific horseshoes, have excellent foaming root beer, a family-friendly atmosphere, and nice enough for special days. I haven’t found it, yet. Most places are too snooty or too much like a bar.

Well, I’m going to plan my chicken chipotle horseshoe recipe, and I’ll let you know how it turned out!