UPDATE: Customers Fight to Keep Batesville Store Open

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June 11, 2011

UPDATE:

Customers of the popular Batesville Store in Albemarle County are seeking support from big names one day after it's forced to close its doors indefinitely.

The Virginia Department of Health closed the store unexpectedly on Friday for exceeding its seating capacity. On Saturday, loyal customers sent letters to local lawmakers, Gov. Bob McDonnell, Rep. Robert Hurt and Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb to intervene in the health department's decision and keep the store open.

Click here for a letter the Batesville Store owners sent to loyal customers.

If nothing happens, though, the store has planned a blowout sale for Sunday from noon until 7 p.m., where the owners say everything must go. Items including food, cooking supplies, tables and chairs will all be sold at 50 percent off.

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June 10, 2011

A staple in a small, Albemarle County community has closed. The Batesville Store in Batesville, a town between Crozet and North Garden, was reportedly closed unexpectedly Friday by the Virginia Department of Health.

According to the owners of the Batesville Store, who had posted a statement on their door and website, the Virginia Department of Health unexpectedly forced the store to close Friday afternoon.

The country store features music, homemade food and snacks and is a cornerstone of the small community.

A store employee told CBS19 that the reason behind the shutdown wasn't a health issue, but a safety issue. He says the store had exceeded their seating capacity.

A country store is allowed to have 15 total seats by law, but The Batesville Store has over 40. The employee was frustrated saying that the Health Department hadn't given them a warning.

Folks pulled up the store Friday night for a live music event and were disappointed and shocked to find the store had closed.

Beth Goldstein, a regular at The Batesville Store, said she was heartbroken. "I just pulled up and I thought something was wrong - like they had a death in the family. It's tragic, it's like taking a community and destroying it."

One of the owners posted on their website a thank you to their customers. "We cannot find words to thank you properly for your support for our humble establishment. So I hope a simple 'thank you' will suffice for now."

CBS19 checked the Health Department's website but couldn't find record of The Batesville Store. We will continue to follow this story to bring you more information.



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