Iconic Waynesville business closes

Credit: Lawrence Budd

Credit: Lawrence Budd

Pat’s Place, a long-time gas station and convenience store where local people gathered for decades, has closed.

The business was opened in 1981 by Verdis “Pat” Patrick, according to his grandson, Wayne Twp. Trustee Josh Patrick.

Patrick and his wife had operated the business since 2013.

“Yesterday we made the heartbreaking decision to close Pat’s Place,” Josh and Lauren Patrick said in a thank you note on the business’ Facebook post. “God knows that we tried. And tried, and tried some more.”

The Patricks cited a number of factors, ranging from the toll their battle with her cancer took on their finances to the pandemic.

“We hoped for a very busy spring and summer… unfortunately the pandemic changed all of that. The time and energy we were putting in, especially at the sacrifice of missing kids' soccer games, birthday parties, etc., was not paying off.”

On Thursday, Josh Patrick said he was unsure what they would do next.

“It’s been an amazing time meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. During our peak, the business was wildly successful, exceeding our expectations significantly. It’s been good to our family and it’s been good to our community, enabling us to sponsor sports teams, community events,” the message said. “But wisdom also recognizes when it’s time to move on.”

The Patricks also pointed to problems with vendors and rising expenses, flooding and “a charged political climate.”

They urged people to buy from local businesses.

“We value our history and try our best to remember the ‘good ol’ days' of good service and small-town charm. Generations of kids have known Pat’s as the place to get Superman ice cream, the best candy, and the kindest service," the message said.

"We’ve laughed with customers, cried with customers, and made friends that are like family. There are times we have felt like the town counselors. But in all actuality, we learned what it feels like to be a real part of a wonderful and loving community.”

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