A huge turnout and show of customer support to mark the end of a long run for Stinky’s Grill in Santa Maria.
The popular restaurant and sports bar closed its doors for the final time Friday night.
“I’m overwhelmed, its amazing”, says Stinky’s Grill owner Dave Perez.
Perez says the owner of the shopping center where Stinky’s is located on south Broadway and McCoy Lane has plans to turn the Stinky’s location into a drive-through Starbucks and some other large national chain store, even though there’s already a Starbucks in the center.
“Things are changing, obviously California is a tough place to have a small business”, Perez says while reflecting on his 15 years in business, “I think there are people out there, entrepreneurs who are going to do it, but it will be a little harder every year.”
Long time Stinky’s regulars lament the loss of a feel-good, locally-owned business that prided itself on good food, friendly service, fair prices and unwavering support for the community.
“I think its really sad”, says longtime Stinky’s customer Anita Salomon, “a lot of my family and friends have come here over the last 15 years, people I know have met here and gotten married and now have children.”
“I was an original waitress here back in 1999″, says Annie Corona,”my husband and I actually met here, we’ve been married for ten years, I have three children and I’m really sad to see this local business close.”
“I’m kind of upset at how it is, how it turned out”, added customer Glenn Newman, “I don’t believe that he (Perez) deserves it but its something that goes on, its all about the money.”
“I think it’s a crying shame what is going on, Dave has had this business for 15 years and for Starbucks, or maybe Subway, coming in here, all the big corporate people, I think it’s a crying shame”, says regular patron Bob Lowery, “Dave and Dawn (Perez’ wife) have put their entire life into this business and this community, what is Starbucks’ going to do for us, what is Subway going to do? Dave, he does a charity event almost every single week.”
A night to remember for Perez, his nearly 20 employees and Stinky’s customers after years of memories.
“Thank you for the 15 years”, Perez said as the final night neared its end, “all the friendships, thank you very much.”
Perez says he declined an offer from the landlord to relocate to a smaller, corner location in the shopping center and has since been unable to find another suitable and affordable location in Santa Maria to move to.