Walli’s Restaurant, Fox Sports Bar & Grill ‘Closed Until Further Notice’
Walli's Restaurant and The Fox Sports Bar & Grill has been closed for days and placed a sign on the door that says "closed until further notice," and some believe that "further notice" may never come.
Earlier this week, people began asking questions as to what was going on with Walli's Restaurant, as they had unexpectedly closed their doors. The lack of detail surrounding the situation and complete silence on their social accounts has left some under the impression that they may be closed for good.
As a former employee of the restaurant, I often hear about these things when they happen. I had heard recently that they were likely closing in 2019, but that was all hearsay and there wasn't much evidence to support it until now.
Yesterday, I stopped up there to see for myself and it was in fact closed. Apart from the doors being locked and the signs (see below), everything else looked normal. The power was still on, the lights and lotto machines were on, refrigerated food product was visible in the kitchen... it just didn't have the appearance of a business that was altogether closed.
I called the restaurant and to my surprise, someone answered. I asked what was going on and they said that some pipes burst during the cold snap and they would be closed for business until the necessary repairs were made. They did not issue any sort of time frame or details as to the extent of the damage.
Walli's Restaurant, in one form or another, has been doing business in the Flint area since the 1950s. The brand has survived several decades, a couple of fires, and an incredibly turbulent local economy. Today, just one restaurant bearing the name still stands -- the Center Road location that first opened in 1972.
The Walli family sold the restaurant and the attached Firkin & Fox Pub about three years ago. The new owners ditched the Firkin franchise, rebranding as The Fox Sports Bar & Grill, and made significant cosmetic updates to the bar side, while keeping the aesthetic of the Walli side largely intact.
In the wake of closings at Target, Bob Evans, and Party City, it would be a shame to see another business on that corner go the way of the dinosaur. Unfortunately, there's just not a lot of demand for "salad bar restaurants" these days, and sports bars in the area aren't doing so well either. Despite all that, it appears that Walli's management currently has plans to re-open at some point. We'll keep you posted.
UPDATE (2/6/19 - 4:20p): The Fox Sports Bar & Grill posted an update on their Facebook page.