The Central Virginian

Follow Us On:

Lake Anna restaurant closes

Posted on Monday, June 29, 2015 at 10:07 am

Allys restaurantAlly Nails, owner of Ally’s on the Lake, says she’s too old to be working as much as she has. On Thursday, June 25, she closed the popular restaurant at Lake Anna.

“I’m 62 and tired,” she said. “It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had in my entire life. It’s hard, but it’s been wonderful.”

The spry Nails is retiring from the restaurant industry to pursue her next entrepreneurial endeavor, an antique and “stuff” shop.

“It’s bittersweet,” Nails said.

Throughout the past four and a half years, Ally and her son and chef, Frank Burgess, have been serving up meals to locals and vacationers alike.

Over the years, Nails said her customers have continued to return to the restaurant on a regular basis, which kept the pair in business.

“Without the people who live around here, I would have been diddly squat. They keep you going all year long,” Nails said.

The menu is slowly, but surely, dwindling down to the last of what the pair has left to sell. Black lines of magic marker drawn on the menu act as a death shroud for their entrees.

Even with the limited menu, Nails expects a flood of customers on her final night— so many she said she’ll likely have to turn away 25 to 50 guests.

“I’m closing up and I’m cryin’,” Nails said.

Despite the lingering feelings of final farewells, Nails reminisces of better times at the restaurant.

Raising $4,000 in a night for a local girl with diabetes and the motorcycle rallies stand out as some of her most memorable times at the restaurant, not to mention the numerous bands the space has hosted.

“It’s a relief to be done,” Burgess said. “We did a lot here.”