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Longtime Gilmer restaurant may close due to lack of beef supply

Doc's Hot Links has been a Gilmer tradition for roughly 70 years. However, the shortage of beef supply may cause Doc's to close their doors, at least temporarily.

GILMER, Texas — Among the many industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is the beef industry. Meatpacking plants have struggled to sell there products, hurting restaurants across the state.

Among the restaurant's hurting is Doc's Hot Links in Gilmer.

"A lot of history in this building. As Doc's, we’ve been here since 1959 prior to that Mr. Rushing owned it. We dated it back to the late 40s, early 50s," owner Mesha Capps said. "It’s the heart of the town. I mean it’s the oldest restaurant still going in Gilmer and many do they call it the heart of the town."

Capps says they still use their original recipe for hit links, freshly made each morning with their own seasoning. The beef is cut, ground, seasoned and then cased.

"On a weekly basis, we go through a minimum of 3,000 pounds a week and our beef that we use, there’s a shortage on it and we can’t get it anymore," Capps said. "The company that makes for me they said the reason that they cannot get it to us is because there’s been people sick or too scared to work."

Capps says she has talked to other companies to help the restaurant keep up its supply. Now, the lack of supply issue is now taking a big effect on their business.

"We stopped shipping yesterday. We can’t take any more orders to ship and we ship nationwide," Capps explained. "Saturday in White Oak, we’re going to shut our trailer down."

Despite the grim outlook, Capps says she will still continue to fight to keep the Gilmer tradition alive.

"I’m not going to give up that easily," Capps said. "I am fighting to keep open the doors, but if we cannot get meat supply, they will be closed down within two to three weeks."

Capps says if they do have to close down, they will reopen as soon as beef supply is available. She says, at this time, it's estimated to be toward the end of June.

CBS19 reached out to Bill and Ralph's Inc., the wholesaler used by Doc's, for comment. However, did not respond.