After 15 years of business, The Tailgate Grill in Waynesboro has closed its doors indefinitely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Owner Jeff Graves said despite offering curbside and takeout services, the restaurant was continuing to lose money between building expenses and payroll.

“The business could not sustain profit to stay open. The business itself was continuing to lose money,” Graves said. “Any good business person would know if you’re losing money, you’ve got to make some changes. Under the current COVID situation, it’s just not feasible.”

The American restaurant located on West Broad Street off Route 250 across from Walmart Neighborhood Market posted a message to customers on its front door.

The sign reads in part, “The Tailgate Grill has made the difficult decision to remain closed indefinitely. As you well know, the COVID-19 virus has put an incredible economic strain on all businesses. The Tailgate is no exception.”

Graves said he is reviewing all options going forward but couldn’t comment on which direction that may be at this point.

“I’m just gathering information and trying to take one step at a time. It just depends on the situation,” he said. “I don’t want to say never, but under the current situation, it just became very difficult to operate a business. I’m taking it day by day.”

The Tailgate Grill opened in 2005, and Graves said he appreciates the community support they’ve received.

“We’ve had tremendous support over the 15 years and want to send out a thank you for all the support from the years and all the support we continue to receive,” Graves said. “The community has been very supportive. Even in this time with the COVID issue, people were very nice and appreciative of The Tailgate. So, a sincere thank you from myself to the community.”


Logan Bogert is a reporter for The News Virginian in Waynesboro, Virginia. She can be reached at or (540) 932-3562. Follow Logan on Twitter at @Logan_Bogert.

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