SCHERERVILLE | Even restaurants might be feeling the pinch of a bare-bones economy.
The Golden Corral restaurant in Schererville closed early Sunday after some patrons seeking a full spread were disappointed to find that the buffet-style diner ran out of certain items such as steak.
The establishment closed to new customers before 7:15 p.m., although patrons said the restaurant usually closes at 9.
A restaurant manager refused to comment on the situation Sunday.
Schererville police were called to the restaurant at 6:04 p.m. to respond to "a heated verbal exchange," according to Cpl. Andrew Stack. Stack said the incident happened after a woman spent more than $50 for she and her friends to eat, but wanted a refund after being displeased with the diminishing dining fare. Management did not give a refund and an argument ensued, Stack said. There were no injuries or arrests in the incident.
Stack said police didn't respond to more calls to the restaurant as of 8:15 p.m.
This situation confused Gary resident Debra Hart who planned on dining at Golden Corral, but was turned away by an employee. Before she walked toward the restaurant, a man told her "you better be careful, because they're running out of food."
Hart went to another establishment to eat, but she said she felt sorry for a hungry family who came from Chicago to eat at the restaurant, but were turned away.
One patron said managers attempted to give vouchers to customers to return another day, but they weren't looked on favorably. He said he decided to stay even though managers told people they weren't granting refunds.