Troy’s Bar-B-Que, an institution in North Rome for nearly a century, is the latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic in Rome.

Owner Mike Wendt will close the restaurant after breakfast Saturday morning.

Wendt, who has run the iconic restaurant for the last seven years, said his lease expires at the end of April and that it has become difficult to cook while trying to move some of his kitchen equipment out so he decided to pull the plug on the business two weeks before the end of the lease.

The original building, near the intersection of North Broad Street and Calhoun Road was bulldozed decades ago and the business moved into a building that was constructed behind the original shop, closer to the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks.

Broadus Coker operated the business for more than 30 years before passing it on to his son, Frankie Coker in the early ’80s.

Coker’s daughter, Dr. Jenn Coker, who now lives in Colorado, said that she can remember going with her brother to the restaurant every day after school where they would sit at the counter and do their homework.

Frankie Coker ran it for a little more than a decade before selling the business to Mike and D.F. Williams. Marie Wesson was part of a group that acquired the business in 2004 and she sold it to Wendt seven years ago.

“I tried to be a good steward and I’ve paid everybody and I’m done, it’s just not a good time for me to be in this business,” Wendt said. “After COVID, maybe a year from now this might be a great thing to do but not right now.”

Attorney David Guldenschuh said he has regarded Troy’s as a satellite office for years.

“I’ve got to find someplace else for breakfast now,” Guldenschuh said. The attorney said his staple for breakfast is called “Eggs over David,” the whites are cooked, the yellow is runny and there’s no brown skirt around the edges.

Jimmy Brock, who’s been eating at Troy’s for longer than he could remember, said he hated to see Troy’s close, “because it’s just about the best place for breakfast in Rome.”

Wendt said COVID cost the restaurant so much business, but he hasn’t ruled out the possibly of reopening at another location in the future.

“For now I’ve got to recover from this financially,” Wendt said. “I still love cooking.”

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