MACHESNEY PARK (WIFR) – Without the support from its community, local businesses and restaurants would cease to exist.
After 10 years of being in business, Pug Dog’s Diner is possibly two weeks away from turning off its lights.
The building has operated for 60 years, mostly under the title “Top Cone”, however after a long run as an ice cream parlor and a decade split with a hot dog restaurant, Machesney Park customers are eating elsewhere.
“All of my staff and I, we sit here day after day trying to figure out what we can do to tantalize people to come in and I don’t know. I’m really at a loss,” said owner Jamie Skermont.
Skermont has seen a steady decline in business since 2008 and has tried everything to lure customers back, including a plea on Facebook asking for people to grab a bite to eat. General manager Tammy Autrey was hired 3-years-ago and has even tried her share of marketing ideas to no avail and for her, this diner means everything.
“I would be completely torn apart if I came in one day and it was closed. It would tear your hear tout. It would hurt so many people,” said Autrey.
Pug Dog’s may be having issues getting people in its doors, but the ones who are there, could not ask for better food or service. The restaurant is one of a kind in the area, with it’s dairy free ice cream and has many gluten free items on its menu.
“I hope people will come and taste it. At least give it a try. If they would at least try it, I think they would come and they’d see that they really like it,” said Pam Sockness, a customer of the restaurant.
“A try” is all the staff at Pug Dog’s is asking for, but they are hoping that people take the initiative and stop by before it’s too late.
Jamie Skermont told us that without a helping of new customers, his diner may only be upon until November 20th.