At Charley’s Catering Co. last week, owner Shirley Williams stood atop a purple stage in the middle of the room directing her team. The women moved quickly as they packed what was left of the business and into cardboard boxes.
On Friday, the 45-year-old business will close.
With tears in her eyes, Williams spoke fondly of her time as a business owner.
“Though it was never my idea to open this in the first place,” she said, “I wouldn’t change anything about my life so far.”
The idea was first pitched by her husband Jack Williams, whose dream was always to open a bar. The two first opened Charley My Boys: A Tavern at 1011 West Broadway Ave.
When the lease expired, the Williamses purchased the current building across the street at 801 North Monroe St. in 1993. They renamed the business Charley’s Grill & Spirits and opened in January 1994.
But when Jack Williams died in 2021, so did the restaurant and bar.
At the time, Shirley Williams told The Spokesman-Review that she had new plans for the business.
“I had been thinking about turning Charley’s into an event facility, and then using the kitchen for my catering business,” Shirley Williams said.
Two years later, the business model is still successful, but it’s closing because the property owner has ambitions for a new business, Williams said.
Her catering company often hosted events for the Spokane Comedy Club, Stage Left Theater and the Lilac City Dinner Theater.
Most recently, it hosted a 1970s-themed, murder mystery musical.
“It was so much fun,” she said. “It was a really nice way to end a relationship with the theater community that I have grown so close to over the years.”
Williams said she will miss