DALLAS — King Neptune in Dallas is far more than just a business to owners Bob and Lynda Sorber.
The 57-year-old take-out seafood eatery, located at 2974 Route 415, was a place to make friends, laugh, share the news of the day, socialize and yes — work.
The business was also a place that Bob had previously worked side-by-side with his father, John, who started the take-out seafood restaurant in 1960.
All the memories, a lifetime spent building and maintaining the business’ reputation while conquering challenges, made it difficult for the couple to decide to close permanently on Friday, June 30.
“We no longer feel we can produce the quality that we were founded on,” 70-year-old Bob said as his eyes began to turn red and watery. “The modern customer base has changed.”
Lynda, who was preparing for the lunch crowd on Wednesday, said softly, “Please don’t make me cry.”
Suzanne Vernon, a long-time patron, stopped Wednesday to pick up an order of shrimp. She was sad to hear her favorite seafood spot was closing.
“I love this place,” Vernon said. “This place is fantastic. I don’t know what to do when they close.”
Vernon said it wasn’t just the seafood that made her want to come back again and again but also the friendly banter between herself, Lynda and Bob that made the shopping experience enjoyable.
“I don’t want to buy my seafood from a grocery store,” Vernon said.
The friendship between the couple and their regular customers grew over time. Bob and Lynda could almost guess their customers’ orders.
Over the years, King Neptune became well-known for its fresh seafood and coleslaw.
“The fish came from Alaska and Iceland, scallops from Canada and shrimp from the Gulf Coast,” Bob said.
Customers would come from all over the state to get their seafood during the holiday season, he added.
“We had people come from Williamsport and Scranton,” he said. “They came from all over.”
Lynda’s coleslaw was also a fan favorite.
“I’m taking the recipe to my grave,” she said, laughing.
The couple also had some challenges over the years, including a fire, being robbed and having a car crash into the front of the building.
Customer support and a desire to keep King Neptune afloat inspired them to keep going.
Unfortunately, changing business tides forced the couple to prepare for a new adventure together. They have not set a new course, but know they will miss their customers who had become an extended family.
Lynda said she might seek a part-time job stay in touch with the public.
“I will miss the people,” she said.
“I will miss being active with the public,” Bob said, adding, “I want to thank the Back Mountain for their support all these years.”
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.