BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — After serving the Bakersfield community for nearly 28 years, the owner of Café Med announced the restaurant will be closing next week.
Meir Brown, the owner of the local Mediterranean restaurant announced Friday.
The restaurant currently employs 50 people and Brown said rising costs made it hard to keep up with expenses.
“Minimum wage is a major factor,” Brown said. “We went from $7.25 to $12 in less than what three years, three and a half years.”
Brown said he would pay almost $19 on minimum wages after taxes per employee. He added that high food and rent prices also contributed to his decision.
Scott Beldon is one of hundreds of customers who will miss Café Med.
“Now with Café Med being gone, now we’re all sitting there scratching our heads where can we go in the afternoon and meet with somebody and have a drink and have dinner,” Beldon said.
Brown said they are trying hard to stay open until Wednesday.
He said they are doing everything in their power to honor the obligations to his customers and employees.
“We have people who are counting on us for the thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday,” Brown said.
Brown said he has arranged with other restaurant owners to accommodate families who made thanksgiving dinner reservations at Café Med.
“It just reached a point where I could not continue to dig that hole,” he said.
While Brown is grateful to the community for their support, he said this has been a very tough loss.
“My employees are my family, my customers are my extended family, and in a way, I feel that I disappointed them, “ Brown said.
The restaurant is expected to close on Wednesday.