Colet Inn Bar and Grill closes after owner becomes ill
Aug. 19, 2014 at 8:36 p.m.
Updated Aug. 20, 2014 at 1:41 a.m.
Instead of serving up good times at Colet Inn Bar and Grill, owner Robie Lowery has spent his time in a hospital.
And for now, the restaurant is closed - possibly for good.
A month after having his gallbladder removed, Lowery said the pain didn't go away.
"They did a CAT scan and found my pancreas infected with an abscess," Lowery, 48, said in an interview through Facebook. Doctors in Victoria transferred him to San Antonio on Aug. 8, where he is being treated at University Hospital.
Meanwhile at the Colet Inn Bar and Grill, his crew, past employee Netia Preiss and Lowery's dad, Robert Lowery Sr., kept the doors open for a week.
The restaurant closed Saturday.
Lowery said he's unsure when or if he'll reopen the restaurant.
"I really don't know what to do yet," he said. "I got 25 years at this business."
Tanner Troell, 16, started working at Colet Inn Bar and Grill last year as a dishwasher. In January, he moved up to a cook position.
He was also there when Lowery left for the hospital the second time.
"When Robie got sick, we knew something was wrong," he said. "I was terrified that he might die."
Troell has spent every weekend at the restaurant for the last year and is going to miss cooking with Lowery.
The sentiment is shared with the entire crew, he said. The day the restaurant closed, he said, the customers kept saying they were going to pray for Lowery and send him well-wishes.
"Robie is a great guy," he said.
Patricia Wood, who lives down the street on Camp Colet Road, said she's been praying Lowery gets better.
She has known him since 1996 and used to frequent the restaurant in years past.
Construction work and road closures, she said, has made business difficult for Lowery.
"I hope he can get back on his feet and open the restaurant again," Wood, 69, said. "He enjoys the restaurant, and I want to see him do it full time again."
She heard the news through Facebook and receives updates on Lowery through other people's posts and comments.
Until he gets better again, she said she'll continue to watch other posts about Lowery's status and hope for the best.
"If we can get him well again, that would be great," Wood said. "I hope we can get everything back up to the way it was and running again."
Lowery said he believes the stress of running the business after the May 2005 fire and the decrease in traffic led to his medical problems.
"Stress is a very bad thing and difficult to set aside," he wrote.
For now, Lowery said, he is going to focus on getting well before planning his next steps with the business.
"I do not want to close forever. I need to get my health back. We loved our customers," he wrote. "We had good times. Everyone (else) did, too."