People were stunned to find the doors of Las Casuelas Quinta,
"Gosh, it’s you know, the padlock is on the door, I‘m not sure what’s going on to tell you the truth," said long time La Quinta resident Kellie Kennedy.
"I wanted to bring my friend here to Las Casuelas, cause I just love their food and they’re not open their door’s chained," said Shelley Gagnet, a part time resident.
Several employees tell KMIR News, they too were shocked when they showed up to work and found the doors locked and say signs taped to the employee entrance door that read ‘no trespassing’ and ‘restaurant closed’, were the only warnings they received. And while none of them wanted comment on camera, off camera they had a lot to say, including that their last paycheck bounced and were supposed to be paid Tuesday, the same day they found it shuttered. They say they’re sad and disappointed. One employee said his only option was to look for another job.
"For people to just show up to work and not have anywhere to go to work, that’s not good, how are they going to pay their rent and feed their families?" said Gagnet.
We tried to reach the owner, Robert Delgado, part of the Delgado family that owns four other restaurants in the valley, but we had no luck, but his brother Joaquin confirmed the La Quinta location is closing for good. He explained each location is a separately owned and only linked by the family name and recipes that have made them an institution for 60 years.
"Yeah, I’m really sad because their food is really good, love it," said Gagnet as she drove away. Joaquin, who owns Las Casuelas Nuevas in Rancho Mirage and co-owns another location in Palm Desert says his brother Robert worked really hard to keep the doors open, but just couldn’t climb out of the recession that hit the restaurant hard in 2008. Joaquin says he’s sad for his brother and the community that has supported their restaurants since the first one opened in 1958. He wants the community to know their other restaurants, owned by his other siblings are doing well.
Late Tuesday, we received this statement from Doling Shaw and Hanover, the law firm that represents Las Casuelas Quinta:
Please be advised, our firm has been retained to represent Las Casuelas Quinta, which is not affiliated with any other Las Casuelas restaurant in the Coachella Valley. It is my understanding KMIR was called to the restaurant today. Unfortunately, the owner did not get the opportunity to speak privately with the employees first.
After many years of serving the Coachella Valley, it is with deep sorrow the owner has decided to close the restaurant.
We reached out to the employees to stress how much the owner cares for them and to inform them we are working as quickly as possible to address their concerns. The owner wishes to thank the residents of the Coachella Valley for the many wonderful years of support and patronage. The customers will be missed.