Watts Cookin' Closes Its Doors Today

Created: 03/16/2014 10:46 PM
By: Hannah Tran

(ABC 6 News) --  A local hot spot for homemade food closed its doors for the final time. Grills and skillets are quiet at Watts Cookin' in Austin.

An agreement has been settled to sell the truck stop property to a Kwik Trip station. Owner Kermit Watts made the decision to close and agreed to sell his site to a $5 million dollar construction project to build a new Kwik Trip.

"We're a little sad that we're leaving, but everything has to move forward," said Watts.

Watt's grill has dished out its last entree just after 1 P.M. 45 employees will be clocking out for good and many residents hurried to the restaurant for one last taste.

"I didn't know about it until this morning, but I jumped up and came over here as soon as I heard," said Christian Padilla, a regular customer.

The restaurant was due to close its doors at 2 P.M., but they ran out of food early.  A significant last minute scramble forced the restaurant to close an hour earlier. It's the busiest they've been in a while.

"We've been running out of food all day, to the bare bones. No leftovers, no nothing," said cook Alan Meidl.

This building has been around since 1988, but the Watts' family has been running restaurants for over 6 decades in Mower County. Lansing Corners, Bob's Drive-In, the Plaza Restaurant, The Travel Inn, and the Peppermill Restaurant were all owned and operated under his family.

"We've been enjoying their food since the late 1960's," said a local resident. Many of the visitors brought their families and filled every seat in the house.

The new Kwik Trip will be built in July. It's the third Kwik Trip for the Austin area. The company hopes to lease space to build a restaurant and a hotel. 

Watts Cookin' closed its doors today after 26 years in business.