By Thomas Garcia and Chelle Delaney
The K-Bob’s Steakhouse restaurant at 200 W. Estrella Ave. closed on Sunday night, said the restaurant’s former manager.
A woman who was at the restaurant on Tuesday confirmed the restaurant’s closing and had no comment on why the restaurant closed. She referred all questions to Star Buffet Inc., which did not return queries about the restaurant.
Ross Harmon, the former restaurant manager who had worked there since 1999, said the restaurant had about 32 employees, of which eight to 10 were core employees who worked more than 30 hours a week. The remainder were part-time he said.
Hermon said he had had several offers for new employment.
“Right now, I’m just weighing my options,” he said.
On Monday, five former K-Bob’s employees went to the state’s employment agency seeking assistance, said Bill Griffin, area director of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions based in Tucumcari.
“Of the five that came in, I referred four of them to the Flying J,” Griffin said. “It is fortunate that there are several local business and a new large company that is hiring servers and cooks when a similar business closes.”
The Flying J is seeking personnel such as cooks and servers, Griffin said.
Some of the jobs begin at $8 an hour and pay can increase based on experience, Griffin said.
“I am expecting more people to come in from K-Bob’s looking for employment,” Griffin said.
There are approximately 70 positions at the Flying J, according to information made available to the state’s Workforce Solution, Griffin said.
The Flying J, a new truck plaza under construction at I-40 and Mountain Road, is set to have its grand opening ceremonies on Nov. 6.
“Anytime a business closes there is a loss of jobs.” said Patrick Vanderpool, executive director of the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corp. “When a restaurant closes next to the interstate it is a concern for the community. When a traveler comes off the Interstate and sees a restaurant that is closed it could reflect negatively on Tucumcari.”