Earlier in the year I was questioning how long the new Meteor Smokehouse would survive. There were some tell-tail signs that all was not going well. It finally happened a few weeks ago.  The doors are shut with a “For Rent” sign prominently displayed.

The summer & fall of 2008 was tough for all businesses in Key West.  The off-season doesn’t bring large numbers of tourists, fuel prices were at all time highs and a couple of hurricane evacuations certainly made things worse.

However, most businesses understand the seasonality and save some money to get through the tough times.  It didn’t appear that the Meteor management did any saving last year.  They would often be out of many food, beer and liquor items.  Rumor had it that they had no credit with their suppliers and had to pay cash for every delivery.

But business seemed to pick up last winter.  The place was packed most weekends, and maintained a lot of loyal local customers during the week. Food prices increased a small amount, which led to speculation that cash flow was a problem.  It appears the speculation was right on.

The Meteor employees have been left high & dry.  Many last paychecks bounced and no one has seen the owner since the doors closed.

Personally, I’m real sorry to see the Meteor closed.  It was one of my favorite places for happy hour and dinner.

The building is owned by the same owners as the “Green Parrot Bar” next door.  So I’m hoping they find a new operator soon.  Fantasy Fest and the Powerboat Races are not that far away.  If the Meteor is not open by then, there will be a lot of disappointed tourists!