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Green Valley Grill Closes

The longtime Watsonville eatery is up for sale and may have a buyer.

The Green Valley Grill, a landmark Watsonville restaurant for more than two decades, closed its doors this week, staff confirmed.

The owner, Ray Rodriguez, told the Register-Pajaronian newspaper that slow sales and increasing costs caused financial strain that eventually sunk his once-vibrant restaurant.

"Financially, he struggled and couldn't make it no longer," said Dolores Machado, who is helping Rodriguez closed down the business.

Machado said the Green Valley Grill closed its doors Thursday, though other media reported the restaurant shut down Wednesday.

Patrons and the business community mourned the loss of the restaurant.

"We're sad to see our fabulous, iconic restaurant close down," said
Katie Mahan, chair of the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture.

The restaurant was known for its fine-dining experience, with white table clothes, cloth napkins and a banquet room. Mahan called it "one of the best eating houses in the county for dinner."

Former employees, who asked to not be identified, have said the Green Valley Grill fell on hard more than 18 months ago. Paychecks bounced and the restaurant began stocking fewer items.

To save on costs, 14 months ago Rodriguez moved the Green Valley Grill from its longtime location at the corner of Penny Lane and Green Valley Road to a smaller space on Main Street near Auto Center Drive.

However, downsizing wasn't enough to stay in business.

“I tried to keep it open as long as I could, but it’s hard to make a living right now,” Rodriguez told the Register-Pajaronian.

Machado said Rodriguez is in the process of trying to sell the business and settle his accounts. Gift certificates will be honored, she said.

For information about the closure, reach Machado at 707-0086.

Adam D. October 12, 2012 at 11:20 PM
I noticed that it had been closed for several days in the past couple fo weeks. When they moved to the new location, I knew they were going to go under since no restaurant has ever occupied that building and stayed in business. It was a poor decision to move to a place where the numerous businesses before it had all failed and went under.
Steve Bankhead October 13, 2012 at 01:07 AM
One bit of silver lining to the cloud over Green Valley Grill closure is that I had dinner at California Grill last night, and owner Dick Peixote told me one of the better Green Valley Grill chefs is now working there. My wife had and enjoyed his wonderful polente again, and Dick said more of the chef's concoctions will be on his menu soon.
Swidden October 13, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Sad to see this place go.

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