CASA GRANDE — Gail O’Neil and Bill Zimmer have been living in Casa Grande for 20 years and one of their favorite spots to eat has been JB’s Restaurant.
The two were regulars at the restaurant located at 1322 E. Florence Blvd., and over the years, they developed friendships with the waiters and waitresses who worked there.
However, on Thursday when the two showed up, they noticed something different.
The back parking lot that would typically be filled with employee cars was empty and as they approached the front door, they were greeted with a sign taped to the door, reading: “To our friends and guests. Sorry to tell you our JB’s has been closed. Your JB’s family will miss you. Thank you, Management.”
“You hate to see it go,” Zimmer said. “It’s one of the few family-owned businesses in town.”
Calls to the restaurant went unanswered Thursday morning as the phone kept ringing and there was no opportunity to leave a message.
Messages left with the corporate office in Tempe were not returned, and there was nothing posted on the Casa Grande restaurant’s Facebook page regarding the closure.
According to O’Neil and Zimmer, the employees would get excited on Tuesdays when the UPS truck would show up to deliver their paychecks. The employees were paid this past Tuesday, and the two said there was no warning or anything that would suggest the restaurant was going to be closing.
Phil Burdick, public information officer for the city of Casa Grande, said no permit application had been submitted to the city in regards to a potential renovation of the restaurant.
According to the company’s website, the corporation has 14 restaurants spread across the West including Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Arizona, where it had six restaurants.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2011. At that time, the company had 50 restaurants.
In the meantime, both O’Neil and Zimmer will look to other places to frequent, mentioning the possibility of CookEJar and Big House Cafe.
“We try to support everything local,” Zimmer said.