A longtime meat supplier in South Chattanooga is going out of business - leaving family restaurants like the nearby Zarzour's and Nikki's Drive-In in North Chattanooga scrambling to find a new supplier.
Southern Provisions, located at the dead end of Rossville Avenue off Main Street, will be closing soon.
Restaurant operators said they were told that the current owners, Scott and Pat McHenry, "were offered a deal they could not refuse by people who are building houses around them.
" There has been a wave of new houses going up in the Jefferson Heights community.
Another reason cited was the cost of upkeep on the old meat supply building.
It is slated to be torn down and the site occupied by new homes.
The Kelly family long operated Southern Provisions until it was sold to the McHenrys some 10 years ago.
Those in the business said the number of companies in Chattanooga providing fresh meat keeps declining.
Still in the business are A&B Food Distributors on Greens Lake Road and Southeastern Meat on Airways Boulevard.
Brad and Steve Grant took over A&B Food Distributors from their father. The business does not cut meat as do Southern Provisions and Southeastern Meat, but sells meat in large pieces.
Southeastern Meat, operated by the Wolfe family, has some 12 employees. Officials said they hope to pick up some of the business now handled by Southern Provisions. The firm cuts steak and grinds beef and has delivery trucks.