"I had no problem working here. I loved working here,” former employee Lorenzo Jones said.
When Jones showed up for work Tuesday, he found a sign on the door that told him Yancy's was no more.
Jones said he was worried it might happen. The Cajun restaurant filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year.
Jones said that in recent months, it had been tough keeping supplies and food on kitchen shelves.
Harvey Yancy was a stockholder in the restaurant.
"It's been a nightmare," he said.
Yancy's, which opened in late 2006, is among a string of downtown businesses that have closed recently. Three nightclubs in the restored warehouse district west of downtown Raleigh shut down without warning in November.
The three West Davie Street clubs were part of The Raleigh Depot, owned by Rochester, N.Y., businessman Ronnie Davis.
With the new downtown convention center scheduled to open in two months and a new city plaza expected next year, city leaders have high hopes on revitalizing the downtown Raleigh area.
"I am sad to hear that they are going,” Raleigh Councilman Philip Isley said of Yancy's closing.
Isley said downtown growth is here to stay, however, and pointed to other successful businesses in the area.
He said Yancy's problems were its own.
Recently, Vango Foods Inc. took primary ownership of Yancy's to try to turn the restaurant around.
Vango describes itself on its Web site as "a food service management company who specialize in liquidating trouble businesses and and restaurants." Yancy's is the only establishment the company said it runs, and it was still featured on the site Wednesday night.
The owner told WRAL that Yancy's finances were already in too much trouble to save the business.
Harvey Yancy said he has not ruled out trying to reopen the restaurant sometime in the future.