Calientes, a California-style Mexican restaurant in north Bibb County, served its last customer Sunday night, closing after 11 years in business.
The closing is bittersweet, said owner Cal Garretson.
We are trying to focus on the positive, Garretson said Monday. There were a lot of blessings and a lot of great times.
A lack of business led to the closure, he said.
It has been slowly (happening) over the past few years, he said.
About six weeks ago, Garretson turned over the day-to-day management of Calientes to his staff when he began working for Waites & Foshee Insurance Group in Macon selling commercial insurance.
I had done that with the hope that if I didnt take a paycheck, it could hold on until business picked up, he said.
The eatery had 11 employees, and Garretson said he didnt want to close the business until he could make sure I could take care of my employees.
Garretson has already found jobs for six workers and has lined up something for the rest, he said.
Hopefully everyone will have a job by Wednesday, he said. I have a lot of friends in the industry, and they can all appreciate wanting to take care of your employees.
Garretson opened Calientes originally in the Midtown Shopping Center on Wimbish Road at Riverside Drive in 2002 before moving a few years later to Plantation Village shopping center off Zebulon Road.
While Garretson is disappointed that the restaurant closed, hes trying not to concentrate on that.
Im really trying to celebrate the good that came out of the past 11 years, he said. Id like to thank everyone who came to Calientes. It was a blessing.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.