Jim Hawkins received a phone call at 7 a.m. Sunday morning.
The message, from the former general manager of Ryan’s, “Was to pick up all the memorabilia from the Room of Honor,” Hawkins said.
“No one was pre-notified that Ryan’s was closing,” Hawkins said. “It was done with lightning speed. Employees were not aware of it.
“I am happy to get all our stuff back but at the same time I am real sad the employees are out of jobs,” Hawkins said. “It’s hard living paycheck to paycheck.”
A Ryan’s official told GreerToday.com, “The first thing I did was call Jim Hawkins and let him know,” Jeff Hanks, Ryan’s Regional District Manager, said.
Hawkins said a former manager told him of Ryan’s closing.
Hawkins removed all the military artifacts and photos within hours. “I have them in my custody,” Hawkins said to reassure the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 39 members. Some have been returned to their owners.
The DAV meetings, held on the third Tuesday of each month, have found a temporary home at the Jean M. Smith Library at 505 Pennsylvania Street. The next three meetings will be in the Davenport Room from 7-8 p.m.
“I hope we can find a regular meeting place,” Hawkins said. “We need someplace to exhibit our memorabilia and only use the meetings once a month for about one to one-and-a-half hours.”
Posted on the DAV’s website was: “Unfortunately, the Greer Ryan's Steakhouse closed it's (sic) doors this morning at 0700 without prior notice. The DAV leadership will be proactive in searching for a new meeting place. If anyone has an idea about a location please advise.”
Call Hawkins at 864-380-2264 or email [email protected].