By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
ABBEVILLE – Sunday will be the last day of operation for Yocona in Exile, the successor restaurant to Yocona River Inn, which burned in March 2009.
“I have no option; this is our last weekend,” said chef and proprietor Paige Osborn, who opened Yocona River Inn 15 years ago. “It’s been a stressful few years.”
After she closed her original location in the rural community of Yocona, Osborn relocated last fall to Abbeville, in a building that duplicated much of the rustic charm of the original. The economic downturn that had already hurt the restaurant industry, however, made it even more challenging.
“It would have been a much different experience if it had been five years ago,” Osborn said. “There’s a lot of competition for declining dining dollars.”
Yocona River Inn is known for its Southern haute cuisine, including beef filets drizzled with “Yocona Sauce,” for its quaint country-store surroundings and for the brown-bagging and no-reservations policy that make an art form of waiting for a table.
Osborn plans to market her Yocona Sauce through a couple of local retailers. She also has received several job offers and will let customers know via www.yocona.com and Facebook which one she will accept.