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Mixers closing

Posted: April 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Mixers Restaurant and Lounge announced Tuesday that it is throwing in the towel. Mixers’ last day of operation at its current location is Saturday.

The restaurant just wasn’t “hitting the marks” financially, said manager  Damien Dorrell. Weekend traffic is great but weekdays are a struggle to generate enough business to justify keeping its doors open.

Located in the Bouquet Center on Bouquet Canyon and Newhall Ranch roads, Mixers opened for business December 2010, but Dorrell said the 2,500-square-foot location for the eatery and lounge is not a good fit for the type of business Mixers established.

The location is just not a good spot for what Mixers was trying to achieve, Dorrell said.

Owner Louise Castaldo took over the retail spot, which has an enclosed outdoor patio entertainment area, in 2010. Located between the Vons grocery store and CVS pharmacy, the spot formerly housed the Roast House restaurant and bar, which closed in 2009.

Castaldo, who also owns the Vu Ultrabar in Newhall, gutted the former restaurant and designed Mixers as a trendy nightspot with black and red interiors and special lighting.

But Mixers first fought customer perceptions that a nightspot located in a commercial strip center next door to a grocery store and pharmacy couldn’t be trendy, Dorrell said.

And, yet, moving into a location like Town Center Drive, which Mixers’ compliments, is cost-prohibitive and difficult to get into without a long track record or being part of a chain operation, he said.

The staff had an idea the closure was coming, Dorrell said. But they didn’t expect it would be this soon.

Dorrell said the commercial shopping-center management is not easy to work with and makes life difficult for small businesses.

Mixers had to change its original concept to put more focus on it being a restaurant than a lounge, he said. The restaurant was also responding to customer requests for menu changes at the same time.

Also, the shopping center only lists its key tenants on the marquee in front of the center, ignoring all of the other businesses, he said.

For its last day of operation, the restaurant and lounge is honoring its plans to hold a fundraiser to support the fight against breast cancer with reggae bands and Mixers DJs starting at 8 p.m. Sponsors will donate money for every guest dressed in pink.



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