Beloved Meridian pub house closes after 15 months citing tough economy, location
Eric Fink reports Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
R&R bartender, Alex Diffendaffer, makes a Bloody Mary for one of the hundreds of customers dining inside his beloved valley pub on its final night.
"It's our bar," Diffendaffer said. "We saw it come about and now we have to depart with it." R&R's co-owner likened ending his business to leaving one's home. "It's kind of like building your own house, you build it and then seeing it go away, it sucks, yes."
15 months ago, Alex, along with Shane Randel and Keith Moreno opened R&R in Meridian. After a year and change, this family-friendly bistro and watering hole known for its fresh lime juice, and hand-crafted beers is closing its doors.
Shane Randel believes his restaurant fell victim to tough economic conditions. Randel contends the location wasn't the best. But this entrepeneur says he had the best staff in the valley.
"They're awesome," Randel said with a teary smile. "If it wasn't for them we probably wouldn't have lasted this long. They've been the leg that we've leaned on this whole entire time."
R&R served as Joe Eastman's favorite hangout, reminding Joe of another bar, a slightly more famous bar, where 'Everybody Knows Your Name, And They're Always Glad You Came.'
"R&R is a lot like "Cheers," Eastman said. "You come here and everybody knows you, the people are warm. It's a friendly place and when it closed it was sad. I wish it wouldn't happen like this."
Randel hopes to return to the restaurant business in the next few months. He's envisioning a brew-pub, similar to R&R, but located in Downtown Boise.
"Boise, with it's foot traffic and locale, it's where I need to be," Randel said. "Our concept just didn't work here in Meridian."