Dixie Restaurants, Inc., a Little Rock-based company that operates Dixie Café and Delta Café restaurants, is closing.

"After over 35 years in business, we have decided that we must close our restaurants," CEO Allan Roberts said in a news release. "It’s a very difficult operating environment for full-service, family-oriented restaurants. We have seen declining sales combined with increasing costs that has made this difficult decision necessary."

The company owns 17 Dixie Café or Delta Café restaurants in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. All of the locations will close effective Thursday.

"We want to thank all our loyal patrons who have supported us over the years," Roberts said. "We also want to thank all our long-term management and staff who have been so dedicated to our company and its mission to serve our guests. We are privileged to have been a part of so many wonderful communities and to have served so many loyal guests."

Dixie Café on Fendley Drive in Conway opened in 1993. It will be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday as usual before closing permanently, an employee told the Log Cabin Democrat on Monday. He declined to comment on how many people the eatery currently employs or when those employees were told of the closing.