'Thank you': Charlotte's Hoagie Shop to close after 26 years

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CUMBERLAND, Ky. (WYMT) - Charlotte’s Hoagie Shop is a staple of the Cumberland community in Harlan County. It’s an Eastern Kentucky icon, and, some would argue, an icon across the Commonwealth.

For 26 years, its owner, Charlotte Rhodes, who does just about everything from cooking to cleaning, served good, home-cooked meals to the people of the area.

“I do it all, I’m just like one of the employees,” said Charlotte as she laughed.

She spent her whole life working in the food service industry until she decided one day to pursue a longtime dream of hers.

“It's been something that was my dream from the time I was a kid,” she added. She says when she finally moved into her shop, it was a full circle moment for her.

“I take a lot of pride in that, in my cooking and what I send out,” Charlotte added.

She’s won awards, not only within Harlan County, but at the state level for her cooking. Her dream turned into a reality and her community supported her every step of the way.

“This has been my priority for 26 years,” she added. “It's been good to me and I love but there just comes a time when it's time.”

At 72 years old, Charlotte decided that it is time for things to come to an end for her restaurant. On May 25, the hoagie shop will close its doors for good.

“The community, the people, I love them dearly every one of them and I'm glad I had the opportunity to do it,” she said.

She will spend some much needed time with her family, enjoying relaxation after decades of work. She says she will miss the second family she made through her restaurant.

“I love them, I loved everybody, I love everybody,” she said. “It's hard to make a decision like this when the business is good because the business is still good.”

She said business was good and never really slowed down throughout the years. Charlotte added that this is not ‘goodbye’ but ‘see you later.’

“I'd like to be able to come back here, sit down, have a hamburger myself, somebody wait on me, I would, I would like to be able to do that,” Charlotte said.

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