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The sour economy and onslaught of chain restaurants has claimed as victims Stadium Grille’s two locations. The family-oriented sports restaurant closed its West Goshen and Upper Uwchlan locations at the end of business Monday evening, owner Bob Batley said Wednesday afternoon.
It was years of “the recession — customers who used to go out to dinner two to three times a week went out one to two times a week,” said Batley, of Glen Mills, who opened the West Goshen location on Jan. 26, 1990, in time for patrons to enjoy Super Bowl XXIV. The Chester Springs location in the Eaglepointe Shopping Center opened a few years ago.
Batley said he also was squeezed by competition from chain restaurants. When he first opened in 1990, he said there were 40 restaurants in the greater West Chester area. Now there are more than 100 and “Exton is full of them,” he added. If all that weren’t bad enough, he said it is hard to find a supermarket these days that does not offer ready-made meals that people can take home and heat up. Batley said for the next three weeks, he will be cleaning up the restaurants, “putting them to bed properly. I want to thank the customers, take care of the staff.” Both, he said, were “unbelievably great” over the years.
Batley would like to be remembered for his fundraising work for local school sports programs and charities. Over the last two decades, Batley said, the Stadium Grille raised $280,000 for those causes. With the Philadelphia Phillies headed for the playoffs and local fans eager to cheer them on with a Stadium Grille lunchbox chili cheese dog in hand, Batley could have waited to close his sports restaurants until after the World Series. He said he closed now as a favor to his landlord, a friend for 30 years. It is a lot easier for the landlord to lease the property in the fall than in the dead of winter, he said.