Medford restaurant R&D’s faces closure after 25 years

MEDFORD, Ore.– Since the beginning of the pandemic, many southern Oregon businesses have closed their doors for good.

R & D’s sandwich factory in Medford appears to be joining the list.

The restaurant announced on Facebook Wednesday night the effects of the pandemic are forcing it to shut down after a quarter-century of business

“Right now we have to make the choice to regroup maybe, and look at other options but right now, we basically have 1 or 2 employees for Monday,” said owner Brian Kenyon. The owners say it’s lost 75% of its already short staffed crew in just the past 2 months. They say in over 8 months, no hirings have been made, adding to the stressful situation.

“Today was crazy. The amount of people we had, I’ve never seen it before.”

Customers said they’re sad to see one of their favorites go.

One customer said, “Over the past 10 to 15 years, multiple places have closed down, and the fact that this one’s still here. You want a sandwich you come here to R&D’s.”

Given the resiliency of the local spot, customers say they’re shocked to hear the news. They said, “Its tough to see something go. All the good hometown restaurants seem to be dwindling away. Its a bummer”

One customer not from Medford says he’s been a regular since new management took over the restaurant, a few years ago. He said, “I’ve been coming here for many years. I drive in from eagle point just to come and have lunch here. I try to come once a week to support them.”

Wayne Zallen said his relationship with R&D’s has been about more than just a simple transaction.

“I feel for these guys,” he said. “They’ve become my friends over the years. I’m going to miss them.”

But he knows how tough things are for restaurants these days amid a pandemic, and everything that comes with it.

“How many more times can they open and close, open and close, open and close?”

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