Former employees and patrons of a local restaurant have been expressing their anger and frustration through social media after the local eatery was closed without notice and the employees were suddenly left without jobs.
Spokes Pub & Grill and the Surestay Plus Hotel, both located at 1625 W. Columbia St. in Farmington, were sold to the same corporation that owns the Quality Inn in Farmington.
A statement posted by the previous owner, Joe Scott, on the Spokes Pub & Grill Facebook page read in part, “Effective today, Monday, October 18, 2021, we will no longer have the pleasure of serving you, our loyal customers, at Spokes Pub & Grill. As the business and property transitions to new ownership, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for including us in your lives and allowing us to be a part of this community for almost 25 years.”
The statement concluded with a reminder to those holding unused gift cards that they can redeem them at Crown Valley Winery and/or Crown Valley Brewery, two other businesses owned by Scott.
As of Friday, the hotel appeared to be open, but the restaurant remained closed.
Miral Patel, a spokesman for the corporation that purchased Spokes and the Surestay Plus Hotel, was contacted by the Daily Journal about the sale of the two properties and the sudden closure of the restaurant.
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Patel explained that the restaurant was closed by Scott, not the new owners.
“The previous owner wanted to terminate the employees before closing at midnight,” he said. “We were unable to open the restaurant without employees.”
Patel explained that it is the intention of the new owner to reopen the restaurant as soon as possible.
“It’s only commonsense,” he said. “Spokes has been doing awesome. Who would want it to close when it’s doing so well?"
Patel did not indicate if either Spokes or SureStay Plus would be rebranded now that they are under new ownership, but he encouraged anyone interested in taking over management of the restaurant to contact him.
Former Spokes General Manager Chris Spence was upset upon reading this article. He said the sale had been in the works for a few months and was no surprise.
He said the local real estate agent had publicly stated that the new owners had no restaurants in their portfolio, and no intention of continuing Spokes.
Spence said with the purchase, the hotel is continuing to operate with the previous staff.
He said if the new owner's intention was to continue to operate Spokes, it would not have been hard.
"Mr. Scott didn't fire the hotel people, they went with the hotel. Mr Patel never contacted me or anyone from Spokes. Never ... I kept some of my crew for new projects, others went to other positions in our company, and many already had other employment lined up foreseeing the change. "
"This was a sad ordeal; but we were close, we do care about our people, that feeling of family is what set Spokes apart..."
Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or email@example.com