Saturday, December 2, 2023

‘That’s the best way to fail, giving it your all’


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – A restaurant in Augusta recently had to shut its doors. Shemp and Petey’s Bistro recently opened only three months ago on Washington Road. The owners say they don’t regret anything and they would do it all over again.

“It was late June end of June, around June 19th, June 20th we opened up,” said Kenneth Barnes, Shemp and Petey’s Bistro owner.

All that’s left of Shemp and Petey’s Bistro is a sign, “We actually shut the doors August 30th.” And now an empty building.

“I don’t want people to think we’re discouraged, nowhere near that. Like I said, take a punch in the gut, stand back, breath and it’s like what did we learn,” he said.

Barnes says it may have been a short ride, but overall it was a humbling experience being able to open up a restaurant and feed people in the community they call home.

“There’s a lot of horror stories out there. We don’t consider our story a horror story, this is a very, very great learning experience for us,” he said.

So let’s back up to how it all started and how Shemp and Petey’s got its name before having to close its doors. The story behind the name might just be familiar to many people.

“Started reading a story about Shemp Howard and I was like that’s a pretty interesting story. So then I started looking at different pictures and I forgot that the Three Stooges and the Little Rascals were on the same movie lot. So low and behold I see a picture of Shemp Howard and Petey the dog was standing next to him. I was like look at that Shemp and Petey and I was like oh that’s it,” he said.

And that spark is something both Barnes and his daughter say they will never forget. Well sort of.

“Whether go back into the restaurant business, which I gotta admit. (laughs) It was fun, it was a lot of fun,” he said.

Also hoping to inspire others to keep going and never give up.

“If you are scared of failing, I say don’t be because it’s like even if you fail, ask yourself did you try? Did you give it your all? If you say yes to any of that, then I say honestly in my opinion that’s the best way to fail; giving it your all and not stopping,” said Kameron Barnes, co-owner.

As you heard Barnes and his daughter laugh about, they say they may or may not get back into the restaurant business, but they might take the business in another direction and keep the name.

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