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BBQ restaurant promises to honor gift cards after closing unexpectedly

LOVES PARK (WREX) – Customers left with gift certificates they couldn’t use after a Rockford restaurant closed unexpectedly can now redeem them.

Last March, 13 Investigates reported that around the holidays, Big Papa’s BBQ sold gift certificates and then shut down without announcing it. Now one of its former owners is bringing Big Papa’s back and wants to make things right with former customers.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Jamie Farley said about his comeback to the restaurant business.

Farley is better known as “Big Papa”. He serves up ribs, pulled pork and brisket. Food he hasn’t served for quite some time.

‘It’s been a year-and-a-half since I’ve done any barbecue food,” Farley said.

Farley started Big Papa’s on Forest Hills Road, but wasn’t running it last year when it suddenly closed around Christmas time. That’s when a handful of customers reached out to 13 Investigates.

“Basically what I have is a $50 gift certificate that I donated to the owners of the business,” Penny Evans said when we interviewed her back in March.

Farley said he knew then he had to make things right.

“I sincerely apologize to all people that bought gift certificates that were not honored,” he said. “Please come down to Rocky’s and we can talk so I can rectify the situation of your gift cards.”

He brought his BBQ back inside Rocky’s Bar and Grill in Loves Park. He said the food is all the same kinds that he sold at his old restaurant, with some new additions as well. And he’s determined to earn back his customers business and their trust.

“Thank you for giving me a chance to come back and redeem the gift cards I really do appreciate all the support so far that I’ve received from all the people that know I’m back,” said Farley.

Rocky’s Bar and Grill is located at 5314 N Second St. in Loves Park.

Kristin Crowley

Evening News Anchor
Kristin Crowley anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news. She is also a reporter for 13 Investigates. She brings more than a decade of experience to the newsroom. Her work at WREX has earned her multiple awards including a regional Edward R. Murrow for Investigative Journalism and three regional Emmys.

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