Archive for Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Basehor restaurant closes after 5 months

March 21, 2007

Another small business in Basehor has lost the fight.

After fewer than five months in business, Casa de Pelones, a Veracruz-style Mexican restaurant, closed its doors for good March 10.

Owner Ray Suttles, who opened the restaurant in late October 2006, said the downfall began during the winter months.

"January was a very tough month with restaurants as a whole," Suttles said. "That period of cold weather was very brutal, and people were just not coming out."

Another factor that contributed to the closing, Suttles said, was competition. He suspected locals were taking their business to one-stop destinations, such as The Legends in Kansas City, Kan.

"The Legends just has such a drawing power," Suttles said. "They've marketed themselves very well. It's very tough for small businesses to compete with that."

The restaurant's location, 15306 Briar Rd., has been home to three other restaurants that have folded since 2003.

While feedback from customers was 99 percent positive and word-of-mouth business was phenomenal, Suttles said, the location gave them little residual business. Fridays were the only consistently busy days, while the weekdays and Saturdays remained slow, he said.

"Up until last week I was telling people that we were here for the long haul and I thought we were," he said. "It was just a hole that kept getting deeper."

The Casa de Pelones staff met Friday evening to try to discuss options other than closing, Suttles said, but even after the best Saturday of the year, he said he knew he had to make the decision to close.

"I just had a great team of people and it's very unfortunate," he said. "It was a hard day to call people and tell them they didn't have a job anymore. I have to walk away from it knowing that I gave it all I had and more. My team did that too and unfortunately it just wasn't enough."

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