City Slickers, a popular Tehachapi restaurant located in the Tehachapi Crossing commercial building closed over the weekend, as did a Quizno's franchise owned by the same family in an adjacent space.
Signs posted on the doors sometime after Friday night read: "We are very sorry but we can no longer operate City Slickers at this location due to continuing building construction issues that has impacted our business. We would like to thank you for your almost 9 years of support and friendship. All the best!" Similar signs were posted at Quizno's next door.
City Slickers is owned by Propath, Inc., a company operated by David Baquerizo and Caren Baquerizo. In addition to owning City Slickers, Propath operates from several Northern and Southern California locations offering career consulting and outplacement services to dislocated workers, according to its website, propathinc.com. According to the California Secretary of State website, Propath, Inc., has a principal address at 785 Tucker Rd., Suite G, the location of a mailbox rental business in Tehachapi.
The Baquerizo family also owns Carden School of Tehachapi and the Baskin Robbins franchise which continue to operate. The family has been very supportive of community activities, particularly youth sports.
According to John Carr of the state Alcohol Beverage Control agency, City Slicker's liquor license was suspended as of April 21 due to a request from the state Board of Equalization. The BOE is the state agency that collects sales and other taxes from businesses.
The Tehachapi Crossing commercial project at 1001 W. Tehachapi Blvd. was developed by Ennis Commercial Properties of Porterville. However, it went back to the lender, Rabobank, several years ago as part of the company's bankruptcy proceedings according to Pam Ennis.
Hugo Munoz of Maxel Realty, located in Hesperia, said his firm manages the property for the current owner, TN World Properties of Los Angeles. He told the Tehachapi News on Monday that he doesn't know of any problems with the building and did not know that the restaurants had closed.
Contacted Monday morning by the Tehachapi News, David Baquirizo said he could not comment except to say that there was a "situation" Friday night and that he was trying to reach the city to discuss the matter and might be able to make a statement later Monday. Efforts to reach Baquirizo for follow-up comment prior to deadline Monday were unsuccessful.
City Manager Greg Garrett told the Tehachapi News Monday morning that there was no city enforcement action to prompt the closures.
"It was just as much a surprise to us as it was to the community," Garrett said.
Ida Perkins, president of the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce of which the various Baquerizo family businesses are members, also expressed surprise.
"We're very sorry to lose two restaurants from our community," she said.