MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - An icon of Downtown Mobile is closing its doors. Now, people are without jobs and upcoming events are cancelled. FOX10 news found out Friday some of those jobs lost at the Bienville Business Club might be salvageable elsewhere.
Over the years, the 34 th floor of the RSA Trustmark Bank building has hosted parties, receptions, and meals to some of Mobile's most powerful movers and shakers.
Days of getting lunch, dinner, or even an ice cold beverage are no more. After 46 years, the Bienville Business Club is closing its doors to members in Mobile.
Managing partner Dave MacPherson said in 2010, the cost of rent for the club was $6,600 per month. In 2013, after a $2 million renovation, the cost rose to $14,000. That's more than double after the RSA bought the property.
MacPherson blames the demise of the club on the members themselves because they would not pay an extra $250 in February to help offset the rent. The result: closing the club.
Some notable members included Congressman Jo Bonner and Mobile Mayor Sam Jones.
"I was really sorry to hear that. The Bienville Business Club is really key place for us because it's usually the place we meet with prospects that have an interest in the community. You can stand in that club and kind of look at the city, over the city, because of the position of the building," said Mayor Jones.
With the closing comes lost jobs.
Reginald Madden has been with the Club for 23 years. He said it was his only job he's held in Mobile and it's a bittersweet feeling to see it go.
"It's unfortunate after 45 years the club is now closing. But circumstances created are now making it close," said Madden.
Tristan Bryant was a server.
"I was kind of surprised at the beginning when I first found out. I still have two more days of work. I'm looking for another job."
According to Lap's Grocery and Grill on the causeway, interviews are being held for those who lost their jobs and looking for a new start to their careers.
For the Club sitting at 107 St. Francis Street, the doors close on the end of an era.
The building is owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama. We have reached out to them for comment. They have declined.
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