Mike’s Pig Pen closes after pandemic takes toll

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 5:40 PM EDT
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TOWN OF WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - It was the last lunch shift at the popular Mike’s Pig Pen. The town of Watertown eatery closed its doors Friday.

If you drive along outer Washington Street, it’s hard to miss the big pig statue on top of Mike’s Pig Pen.

The owner says there are a few different reasons why they had to close it down.

“Pretty much COVID. The little bit that we made last year struggling to keep going, what we made went right back into it,” said Marianne Maslen, the girlfriend of owner Mike Cornell.

It was Maslen’s last shift on the grill. She and Cornell have run the place by themselves for some time now.

When Cornell was offered another job last year, Maslen took over and was only supposed to do so until the place sold.

But, there was another change.

“I got a good job offer so I took it and we decided to close,” said Maslen.

Friday was a bittersweet day for one frequent customer.

“We come back when we are up here if we want a hotdog or hamburger or on the move, we stop here. So, it’s a nice place, I like it,” said Donald Kiefer.

Maslen says this decision has been hard on both of them and they hope people’s memories will be of what this place stood for.

“We consider them family, you know, the regulars and I don’t know, a comfortable place to be and fun and so much laughter and it’s just I don’t even know how to explain it,” said Maslen.

Cornell says they are still looking for a potential buyer. He hopes someone local will come forward and wants to set them up or success if they do so.

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