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West Walnut Street's Alley Kat Sandwich Shop to close its doors for good

Tony Casey • Updated Jan 13, 2016 at 12:01 PM

With a fresh coat of blue and gold paint on the exterior — the colors of nearby East Tennessee State University — the owners of West Walnut Street’s Alley Kat Sandwich Shop have made the decision to close their doors permanently.

Called a “family decision“ and announced through the restaurant’s Facebook page Monday, the Alley Kat Sandwich Shop’s last day will be Saturday, Jan. 16.

”We feel that it is time to move on,“ the Alley Kat’s management said on the Facebook page. ”We appreciate all our customers! We have had many good times at the Kat.“

Efforts to contact Alley Kat management were unsuccessful Tuesday.

”The Kat,“ is one of many eateries along the West Walnut corridor section that runs from ETSU and University Parkway to South Roan Street. Behind it, running parallel with much of West Walnut Street, is Lynn Street, which acts as an alley, separating the business-filled section with the nearby Tree Streets neighborhood.

Ted Bradford, a business owner with Shop Local in J.C., said he’s going to miss the restaurant, for selfish reasons — because he ate there several times a month — and because the community, and West Walnut Street, is losing a solid business at a time when there are talks to expand commerce on that corridor. He also said he knows a lot of students and staff at ETSU are going to miss the food as much as he will.

Known for its wings, sandwiches, burgers and subs, Alley Kat offered deals attached to certain days of the week, where ETSU students, medical personnel, city employees and kids received discounts or wings or beer would be offered at a lower rate.

”I hate to see them going out,“ Bradford said. ”But I understand you have to make these tough decisions. It’s just tough when you have to close doors.“

Alley Kat employees were keeping the decision private.

David Hudson was one of the original co-owners. Hudson was a 1999 graduate of Science Hill High School and a 2003 graduate of The Citadel. He died at the age of 27 in 2007 while crossing West State of Franklin Road after being struck by David Lee Wilcox. Police said Wilcox was intoxicated and not using headlights at the time of the accident.

Wilcox was convicted of vehicular homicide by reckless conduct.

Email Tony Casey at [email protected]. Follow Tony Casey on Twitter @TonyCaseyJCP. Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tonycaseyjournalist.

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