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Elephant Bar calling it quits in SCV

Posted: June 9, 2014 2:43 p.m.
Updated: June 9, 2014 2:43 p.m.

The Elephant Bar restaurant on McBean Parkway in Santa Clarita is set to close Thursday night, a manager confirmed Monday.

The staff was informed Sunday, said Robbie Crabtree, one of the managers who will be without a job himself after working with the chain restaurant for 10 years.

The closure of the Valencia location is part of a group of closures in Southern California, Crabtree said.

Also closing will be the Elephant Bar restaurants in Simi Valley, Northridge and Burbank, he said.

The latest closures are the second wave for the restaurant chain, Crabtree said. A couple of weeks ago eight other restaurants throughout California were closed.

Widespread media reports indicate those restaurants were in Goleta, Modesto, Stockton and Irvine, and that other Elephant Bars have been closed in other states.

About 100 employees are set to lose their jobs at the Valencia restaurant unless they can win positions at other Elephant Bars in the state.

Crabtree said he expects the local eatery to close its doors for good at its regular 9 p.m. closing time on Thursday.

The Elephant Bar restaurant chain was begun by David Nancarrow in 1980. He also began, and later sold, the Carrows restaurant chain.

As for why Elephant Bar is closing, Crabtree said the staff wasn’t told the reason but doesn’t think it was performance- or staff-related, calling the restaurant business a tough industry.

“You can’t predict whose going to go out to eat,” he said. “All you can do is take care of the guest as well as you can while they’re in the building, making their experience as best you can so you’re their best option for dining.”

The staff has been in a fog since the news was broken to them, Crabtree said.

Having begun with the chain 10 years ago, Crabtree said he helped to open the restaurant in Bakersfield. After five years, he moved to work at the eatery in the San Diego area.

After he and his wife had their first child, they relocated to the Elephant Bar in Valencia to be closer to family.
While offered positions at other restaurants n the chain if they were willing to relocate, Crabtree said that he’s not sure how many staff members are in a position — or willing — to relocate.

The corporate office has not issued a statement on the reason for a closure.

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