The 2015 calendar year ended with a longtime popular barbecue restaurant closing its doors in Waukesha.
Famous Dave's, known for its wood-smoked barbecue and ribs along with its made-from-scratch side dishes, operated on the city's northeast side at 2137 E. Moreland Blvd. for 11 years.
But according to a post on the restaurant's Facebook page on Jan. 1, the Minnetonka, Minnesota-based chain served its last plate of barbecue in Waukesha on Dec. 31.
"It's a sad day for Famous Dave's of Waukesha," the post said. "We have had our last day of famous BBQ. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are no longer open. Thank you to everyone that have graced our establishment over the last 11 years."
In addition to its dine-in restaurant, Famous Dave's offered a to-go menu and catering service.
With the Waukesha restaurant closing, the remaining Famous Dave's locations in southeast Wisconsin are in Greenfield, Pleasant Prairie and Janesville.
According to another post on the Waukesha restaurant's Facebook page, the site's lease was up for renewal, and the owners decided not to renew.
Famous Dave's of America, which has about 180 barbecue restaurants in 33 states, has gone through challenging times in 2015, as its management underwent significant changes and its financial situation has been bleak.
The company recently hired a new chief executive officer after its former CEO resigned less than 18 months after being hired. There was also major changes in the company's board of directors after it wasn't satisfied with the direction of the company, the company's then-interim CEO said in a news release.
And according to a third-quarter report filed by the company in November, revenue decreased from $37.7 million in 2014 to $31.8 million over the same period. The company said this drop is a reflection on the combined impact of the closure of four company restaurants and the refranchising of another five company restaurants since the end of the third quarter in 2014 as well as a comparable sales decrease.
Moreover, from the first nine months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, Famous Dave's saw dropoffs in revenue and income. Revenue decreased from $115.3 million to $101.8 million and net income decreased from $5.4 million to approximately $1.6 million, according to the report.
Famous Dave's recently announced it has sold seven company-owned outlets in Chicago to a franchisee. According to a recent story in the Minnesota Star-Tribune, the chain recently disclosed that after violating debt covenants, its available credit has been restricted, which will result in less money to invest in a turnaround.
Famous Dave's stock closed Dec. 31 at $6.94, a significant drop from when it was at $35 in early 2015.