After struggling to sustain his business amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Justin Turner announced May 28 he will close Bernie's Burger Bus on May 31.

During the shutdown and following weeks, only his Bellaire location, 5407 Bellaire Blvd., had remained open. With the decision, all locations will be permanently closed.

“It is with a heavy heart that I have to communicate this, but with accumulating debt, decreased sales, and the rising cost of doing business, we were starting to move into the danger zone,” Turner said in the announcement. “I was not going to be able to afford the remaining 10 of 114 staff I had left, and paying my team was more important to me than anything else.”

While the downturn was a major factor, Turner also said the decision to fund an expansion to Missouri City with cash made his small chain vulnerable.

“If we’d taken out a loan and kept that money in the bank, we could have survived. Working capital can and does make the difference between who will survive times like this and who won’t—Bernie’s Burger Bus is proof of that," he said.

The restaurant will remain open though May 31 for dine-in, delivery and curbside orders. The closure comes despite efforts by friends and neighbors to support the restaurant.

“I have nothing but high praise for Houston,” Turner said. “Please continue to follow me on my journey. I’m fortunate to have options, and no matter where I go, my remaining staff will be by my side.”