TRINITY — The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another locally owned eatery, dashing an Archdale couple’s lifelong dream in the process.

The Sugar Rush Sweets n’ Treats Cafe, a popular diner in Trinity, closed this past weekend, a casualty of dwindling patronage caused by the pandemic. The cafe officially closed at 9 p.m. Saturday.

“We’ve been doing everything we can to try to keep the business going, but we just can’t do it anymore,” said Jeff Boyd, who co-owns The Sugar Rush with his wife, Missy. “We took out a (Paycheck Protection Program) loan, but it wasn’t substantial enough to carry us over. We’ve done all we can do.”

The Sugar Rush opened in Thomasville about two years ago as a dessertery, but moved about a year ago to its current location on N.C. 62, across from Braxton Craven Middle School. The move to Trinity — in a building formerly occupied by Trinity Grill — allowed the couple to expand from selling only desserts to running a full-fledged cafe.

“We’d been driving by this place for 19 years, and we finally caught it open,” Boyd said, explaining that he and his wife have lived in this area for 19 years.

“It’s always been our dream to have a little cafe and grill to do homemade cooking. It’s country-style — beans and taters and cornbread, stuff like that, food we were raised on. My wife can cook just about anything.”

According to Boyd, business was booming until mid-March, when the pandemic gripped the country and began scaring customers away.

“We’re not a very big place — I think we can seat about 30 or something like that — so with guidelines and social distancing, we can’t get people far enough apart to where they’re comfortable,” Boyd said.

The Sugar Rush shut down around May for about a month and a half, then reopened, but business simply hasn’t picked up enough for the couple to keep the place open, Boyd said. They’d been considering closing for the past month before finally making the decision two weeks ago, he added.

“Everybody’s been saying, ‘Oh, we hate to hear it,’ but nobody hates it more than me,” Boyd said. “We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this place. We invested everything we had here.”

Closing represents the end of a dream for the couple.

“It’s heartbreaking to lose a dream that you’ve had for a very long time,” Boyd said. “We don’t know what we’re gonna do next. We were hoping this pandemic would go away by spring — and if it does, we might still try to open back up somewhere else — but I kinda doubt it. We feel like this is probably the end.”