Clovis restaurant QN4U closing after family tragedy

FRESNO, Calif.

QN4U restaurant was busy Friday evening as people started getting word that it will be closing down in a matter of days.

The family was branching out the popular restaurant but when tragedy hit those plans took a different turn.

Good old American BBQ is being served at the QN4U barbeque house in Clovis, as has been the case the past four years.

And by the looks of things you wouldn't think the place is going out of business.

"I talked to my vendors and they're down 40 - 45 , 50 percent - all the restaurants combined - I'm just at the higher end of it," Kim Walton of QN4U said.

The poor economy played a role on owner Kim Walton's decision to close down the family restaurant - a decision that didn't come easy.

"Probably one of the worst of my life. It's been really difficult," Walton said.

The hundreds of awards that decorate the barbecue joint serves as a constant reminder of who is missing. Kim's late-husband Brent, whom she won many BBQ cookoffs with, died unexpectedly in April, leaving her overwhelming task of running two restaurants.

"It's too much for one person, I lost my best friend and my partner," Walton said.

After the tragedy, Kim closed down the second restaurant they opened in Fresno late last year.

"I thought I could do this one but it's just been too much. The economy is down, him gone, it's too hard to keep it open," Walton said.

The restaurant's closure has the most loyal customers disappointed.

"Traveled all over the world, had BBQ all over the place, and I enjoy it here the most, because it's like family here," customer Tony Magana said.

"Miss the people, miss the food, the staff was really good, they take good care of you," customer John Glaser said.

Twenty-three cooks and servers will be out of a job come Sunday night, which is the toughest thing for Kim to grasp.

"Just not being able to do it with him and the employees. We're like a family and a lot of the customers, a lot of them are here tonight," Walton said.

Kim says the restaurant will no longer be open after Sunday night but she still plans on keeping their catering business open, which is how they got their start.

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