Emotions raw as Blue Plate Café closes its doors Sunday

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For years, it has been a place where people go for breakfast and lunch, and Sunday, it closed its doors.

The Blue Plate Café is closing after its longtime owner died.

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Sunday, as it readied to close its doors for the final time, there were difficult emotions.

“Memphians are very sad, as we all are,” said general manager Shelley Richmond-Arthur.

The restaurant has been located on Poplar Ave. in East Memphis, bought 20 years ago by longtime owner Mike Richmond, who died in October, after battling cancer.

Richmond-Arthur has taken the reigns since, closing she said, for logistical reasons. In addition, the lease the restaurant holds ends in days.

“The staff have all been together for years and we really are family and to watch that breakup and separate is really sad,” Richmond-Arthur said.

The Blue Plate café is known for its breakfast and lunch, and its biscuits and pancakes a facts that drew Jeffrey Cotton to the restaurant for the first time.

“Anything that’s a staple in the community should stay open,” said Cotton.

It is the legacy of service that the Richmond family takes with them with no immediate plans for a new location.

“Dad, passing away in Oct., just wanted to see this carried through to the end and I feel like we’ve done that,” Richmond-Arthur said.