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Table 2 Grill and Lounge in downtown Chattanooga

After five years serving locally-sourced food,the Table 2 restaurant off 11th Street closed Thursday evening.

The space and equipment were bought out by Sekisui Japanese Restaurant, which will move from its location near the Market Street bridge to Table 2's spot near the Tennessee Valley Authority campus and The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, according to manager Michael Carrillo.

Table 2's 29 employees were told Wednesday the restaurant would likely be sold by Feb. 25. Carrillo said that Thursday night they were told the restaurant was shutting down permanently, but employees could expect to be paid up through the 25th.

"We all knew each other really well. We all worked together for a long time. It was just shocking," said Carrillo, who was a manager at the restaurant since the day it opened more than five years ago. "Everyone was just so upset."

Carrillo said he suspects the restaurant was sold because the owners had been stuck running the restaurant since the original owner left the enterprise after only a few months. Rather than leaving the space sit empty, the building's owners ran the restaurant themselves. Carrillo said when Sekisui offered to buy the space, it only made sense for the owners to take the deal.

Table 2 and Sekisui's owners were not immediately available to speak Friday morning.

For more details, read tomorrow's Times Free Press.

Contact Carey O'Neil at coneil@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525. Follow him at twitter.com/careyoneil.

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