Stacy Underwood, owner of Uncle Shug’s restaurants, announced that beginning Monday, Uncle Shug’s on Main will discontinue serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to individual customers and convert the popular restaurant to an event facility.
The sole focus will be on providing event space for meetings, civic clubs, college fraternity or sorority socials and meetings, weddings, birthday bashes and more. For all events, meetings, banquets or civic club events already scheduled, there will be no change.
The iconic restaurant on South Main Street was established in 1981 by Randy Nessmith and James Albert Brannen, hence the name R.J.'s. It quickly became a local favorite, and, in 1986, Nessmith bought Brannen's share and was the sole owner until he sold R.J.’s to Underwood in 2016.
In addition to operating as a restaurant, R.J.’s and subsequently Uncle Shug’s has been known for decades as the best place in Statesboro to host a worry-free event, meeting or family gathering. After acquiring R.J.’s, Underwood adjusted the operations to try to build the crowds he needs to operate a successful breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurant. That effort met with mixed results, but the event space and catering portion of the business continues to grow.
It became evident that the biggest opportunity for Uncle Shug’s on Main is in making the entire facility available for events, banquets and meetings. Shifting the focus to marketing the restaurant more for events seems like the most viable option to keep the restaurant operating in some capacity.
“It was a difficult decision to close the restaurant to the general public, but the demand for meeting and event space is very high,” Underwood said.
“This gives clients the opportunity to rent the entire restaurant as a whole or as break-out space for breakfast, lunch, dinner or all-day events seven days a week. We now have one of the largest seating capacities for meetings or events in Statesboro.
The change will not affect Uncle Shug’s Chicken Barn at 123998 Highway 301 South and Uncle Shug’s Bar B Q Place at 105 US 80 East in Brooklet. Both restaurants will continue to be open daily for everyone to enjoy along with the catering options for any size event.