Cougar Country Drive-In in Pullman was closed Monday, despite optimism from the owner the business would be back open.
Monday marked the restaurant’s second consecutive day being closed. Rumors the Pullman fixture would close began swirling Friday after multiple news outlets quoted employees stating the future of the restaurant was uncertain.
Restaurant owner Rhonda Witt-Miller told the Daily News on Sunday via Facebook the business would reopen Monday and was only closed because of a shortage of food. She wrote the restaurant was expected to open after a meat shipment was supposed to come in Monday, but the business never opened.
According to a post on Cougar Country’s Facebook page, which appears to be from the owner, the restaurant missed a delivery Friday morning due to not enough cash being on hand. The restaurant was open on Saturday with limited staff and shortened hours.
Calls to the business were not returned Monday and an automated message stated, “We are currently out of most products and will be closed until further notice.”
Former employee James Shively said Monday he does not believe the frustrated staff will be returning to work at Cougar Country. Shively said he has had two consecutive paychecks from the business returned because of insufficient funds.
Witt-Miller confirmed in a Facebook message to the Daily News that employees’ checks have bounced and she will see to it that all employees are paid. Witt-Miller wrote she has since been forced to pay employees in cash. Shively said he has not received any cash from Witt-Miller.
In a Monday message to the Daily News on Facebook, Witt-Miller wrote she has not communicated with the staff but guessed Monday’s closure could be because of the weather or a lack of available crew members. Several roads, including state Route 27, were closed Monday morning because of bad weather.
Shively said the staff held a meeting Sunday, but he did not attend. Shively said he is currently looking for other employment.
Cougar Country has been a popular restaurant in Pullman since 1973.
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