MATTHEWS, N.C. – There was quite a shock for customers sitting down for dinner at the restaurant “Hops” in Matthews.
Customers tell NBC Charlotte once police walked in, the managers walked around to each table and told everyone they had to leave because the restuarant was closing for good.
A corporate official told NBC Charlotte they were forced to close because they couldn’t reach a lease agreement.
Customers said they were handed their bill totals and a to-go box for their food.
Matthews police said they were dispatched to the location to help with crowd control because the restaurant was full of customers.
Employees tell NBC Charlotte they were hearing rumors that the doors would close, but never imagined it would end like it did on Sunday night.
“They let the employees know last minute, so families lost their jobs…and we all used to work here. So, it's a big disappointment,” said Lydia Helms, a former employee.
“This is the end of an era. This place has been here. It's like a family, and it's really sad. It's really sad,” said another employee.
Officials at Hops tell NBC Charlotte they don't expect to re-open.
A note left on the front door for bewildered customers stated:
"This Hops restaurant is no longer open. Our managers and staff have enjoyed serving you and we apologize for the inconvenience"