The restaurant quickly became a favorite among the most influential people in town."The mayor, all of the attorneys, the judges... it was just a happening little place, " said former grill cook Kim Chumley.Original owner Patricia Giles hired Chumley, her niece, and she stayed for 28 years, but that came to an end last Friday when Pat's Place closed for good. A note left by the most recent owner says the economy got too tough and business too slow."I was upset but I knew it was something he had to do, and everybody tried to help but you can only do so much, " Chumley said.Now, Kim is trying to fill that void. Her family and friends are working together to help her open a new restaurant just a few miles away."We are wiping tables and cleaning up and making sure everything is straight, " Chumley said.With only two weeks until the opening of Kim's Kitchen, there is a lot of work to be done. But Kim says she has the support of the community behind her - including former mayor George Haley.
"I'm looking forward to it. Anytime you open up a business in Chatham I am happy about it, " Haley said.Kim says nothing can replace Pat's Place, but she hopes to be a close second."I just hope it's a happy family environment that everybody can come and have the fun and the gossip that they did at Pat's, " Chumley said.