Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop coffee shop locations throughout central New York abruptly closed on Wednesday, and that included the chain's eatery in Auburn.
A sign posted on a window at the Grant Avenue store states: "Thank you for your patronage. We apologize for any inconvenience. This location is now closed."
Tim Hortons corporate officials declined to discuss how many closures took place or how many employees were affected, but did issue the following statement:
"In line with our vision to deliver a great Guest experience while building and strengthening the Tim Hortons brand, we continuously review the performance of our restaurants. As we build the foundation for accelerated growth in the U.S., we have decided to close some restaurants in New York. We are supporting our Restaurant Owners in their transition and remain excited about the opportunities to expand the iconic Tim Hortons brand in the U.S. We thank our Guests, the restaurant Team Members and the Restaurant Owners."
The Auburn store opened in a brand-new building in September 2008. The 2,200-square-foot store also housed a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream shop.
Adam Williams, Auburn resident and employee of Cayuga Community College, said he went to the Auburn store as he does at least once a day around 2:10 p.m. and noticed someone taking down signs on the windows.
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Williams said he was able to order his coffee but an employee had to unlock the door for him as he was leaving. He said around 2:45 p.m. one of his coworkers tried to go through the drive-thru and was unable to make a purchase.
"I swear I must have had the last cup of coffee," he said.
Another Tim Hortons shop that operates inside the Weedsport Arby's location was still open Wednesday there. An employee there said she had heard about other closures in the region, but had been told nothing about the Weedsport operation.
Based in Canada, the first Tim Hortons opened in 1964. Though focused mostly on coffee, pastries and breakfast, the restaurant's menu featured sandwiches and soups, as well.
Tim Hortons, which is a division of Restaurant Brands International, operates more than 4,700 locations throughout Canada and the United States.