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Eatery shuttered
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Tape blocks the entrance to the Foster House in Cumming. - photo by Jim Dean
The owner of a popular downtown Cumming restaurant said she’ll be serving meatloaf again as soon as she can.

Patricia Hamby said a bad economy contributed to the financial woes of the business, which the Georgia Department of Revenue closed Thursday.

“I guess we were probably paying the wrong bills,” Hamby said. “You try to keep everybody paid and we thought we were working with them, but apparently it wasn’t enough.”

According to documents obtained by the Forsyth County News through an open records request, the revenue department closed the Foster House for failure to pay nearly $19,000 in sales tax.

The West Main Street eatery’s entrances remained blocked with yellow tape Friday.

Built in 1887 as the home of a family of nine, the Foster House has since become a well-loved spot for breakfast and lunch.

Hamby said she and business partner Amanda Davis see the experience as a chance for a new start, which will include extended hours, a fresh coat of paint and a new chef.

She said the response to their predicament has been amazing.

“You know, you think you’re just a little business on the corner that nobody pays attention to,” Hamby said. “We’re just overwhelmed by the community’s support and love.”

Local attorney Emory Lipscomb owns the property and the building, but said he is not involved in the business.

“I have nothing to do [with it] except eating there regularly and enjoying it tremendously and loving the owners of the restaurant very much,” he said, adding that he was disappointed to learn of the ordeal after he stopped in to pick up a biscuit.

Fortunately for Lipscomb and other regulars, the hunger for sweet potato chips, barbecue sandwiches, chicken salad and other Foster House fare may not go unsatisfied for long.

“We just can’t wait to get back to cooking again,” Hamby said.