SHARECOMMENTMORE

Central Georgia's economy has proved unlucky for Shamrock owner Dargan McAfee.

He closed the once-popular bar Wednesday after 17 years -- 12 of them on Payne City's Rose Avenue.

"Mostly, it's the economy," he said. "The last couple years have been slow. There are no big businesses moving in here. I've borrowed and I've borrowed, but I'm at the point where I can't do any more."

He said recent police drunken-driving roadblocks in surrounding neighborhoods haven't helped.

A sign outside the Shamrock Thursday said it was closed for lunch "due to illness" -- but McAfee admitted the closing is probably permanent.

He said he hopes to reopen the bar if he can line up investors. But right now, he has no firm plans.

"I was hoping for change," he said. "But change is all I got in my pocket, and hope doesn't pay the bills."

He opened the Shamrock at Riverside Drive and Wimbish Road 17 years ago and moved to Payne City in 2000.