ALBANY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Beehive Saloon in Albany will permanently close its doors after 38 years of serving the Big Country. However, the owner has revealed another reason for this sudden announcement of their closure and his new plans for the future.
In a Facebook post, Fort Griffin General Merchandise & Beehive Saloon explained that the high cost of produce, beef, wages, and taxes are a few of the reasons for this closure. Owner Ali Esfandiary shared that the Albany Beehive has been his pride and joy for years, but due to recent events, decided that it was time for the saloon to come to a close.
“After 40 years, you get enough, it’s been enough,” Esfandiary explained. “The price of beef is so high, you know it. Groceries are so high. It’s just not possible.”
Even though the high prices caused him a lot of stress, he said that he originally did not plan to retire. That was, until an employee made a major impact in his life.
“I had an employee. God bless his soul. He was my cook for many years,” said Esfandiary.
Esfandiary explained that he had a wake-up call when the cook passed away at the saloon last month.
“That’s when I decided after 40 years in this restaurant business, that’s enough. It’s time for me to wake up and enjoy the life,” he explained.
This has affected long-term customers, like Corey Daughtery.
“I’ve been to the Beehive many, many times,” Daughtery shared.
He decided to send a text to his friends, inviting them all to eat at the Beehive like they have done before, but this time, it was different.
“We came to eat here because they’re closing this weekend,” Daughtery explained. “That puts us down to roughly three restaurants to choose from in Albany, so you know, I’m not super happy with it.”
Esfandiary’s daughter, Jessica, has worked there since she was about 6-years-old and said she enjoyed working there, but looks forward to the future.
“When I was in college, I still came home to help dad out,” Jessica recalled.
She shared her excitement for her and her dad’s new future, but wanted to thank those who have supported the Beehive for the past 36 years.
“I just want to thank all of our many patrons for all of the many years and beautiful memories,” Jessica said, while holding back tears.
Esfandiary said that accepting that it is time to move on has given him the freedom to be excited about his new dream, which is traveling the world with his wife.
“I am ready. I am ready. By God, I am ready the best as I can be. I am ready,” Esfandiary expressed.
The Downtown Abilene Beehive will remain open, but the Albany Beehive will serve the locations final meals on Saturday, January 28. The saloon will be open from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and will host musician Jeff Martin on Friday and John Caldwell on Saturday for the last weekend.