Patricia’s Mexican Restaurant will close its doors for the last time in mid-September, said owner Gary Farr on Tuesday.
The business, one of Sedalia’s popular home-owned eateries, has been around since the 1990s. Patricia’s was opened by Pat Ives, Farr’s mother. She retired several years ago and Farr has run the restaurant since that time. The closing is a sad announcement for customers and employees alike.
Frequent customers Roy and Elaine Bryson and their son Scott Bryson, who ate at the restaurant Tuesday afternoon, are sad to see the business close.
“Well, we hate to see it close,” Roy Bryson said. “It’s a good place to eat. We just talked to Gary a little while ago and he said he thinks it’s time, so …”
The Brysons said Patricia’s is where they bring their son to eat and they usually visit the restaurant twice a month.
Employee Amy Von Holten, who has cooked at Patricia’s for four years, said she hates to see the end of a era.
“I feel sad,” she said. “I love this place and I love working for Gary.”
Farr said he signed papers to sell the business at 4 p.m. Friday.
“It is in ink,” he added. “It’s sold to two local businessmen; it’s not sold to El Tapatio (restaurant). What they will do with it, I don’t know. They are buying the real estate and all the contents.”
The real estate closing on the property will take place Sept. 30.
Farr said he’s been in the restaurant business since he was 16 and felt it was time for a change. He will miss the customers and the employees, but feels he needs more time to spend with his family.
“My mom retired a long time ago,” he added. “I came here in 1990 when it was El Sambre, mom started it in 1985. In ‘93 is when we switched over to Patricia’s, and then in ‘98 is when we built out here. I’ve been here 25 years and I’m ready to have weekends off.”
He said he and his mother had talked about selling the restaurant for some time.
“I built it for an investment; some people run restaurants all their lives but it’s not a healthy thing to do,” he said. “My kids are grown and have no inclination to come up the pipeline and help me. So I’m the last of it. I’ll be 53 in October and I’m ready to live life.“
Farr plans to stay in the area and would like to possibly go into real estate.
“I’ve always thought about getting into real estate, flipping houses or remodeling houses,” he said.
He’s also “pondered” being a real estate agent.
“I’m one of these people who just like to do a little bit of everything,” he added. “The main thing is, I’d like to go home to my wife and say let’s leave Friday afternoon and go to the lake. That’s just not something that’s been able to happen in my life. I’m ready to have a normal 9 to 5.”
He said the customers are “distraught and sad” and he feels for them.
“I’m sad for my employees (too),” he added. “It’s a very hard decision to make … I’m ready to start a new chapter.”
Farr said he informed some of his employees a couple months ago that he might have a buyer for the restaurant. Patricia’s employs 35 to 40 people and Farr added he has a great crew.
“It’s been great, I’ve had a lot of fun doing it,” he said.
He added that he was thankful for all the young people who have worked there,and also for the teachers who have worked part-time.
“There’s so many teachers who have worked for me, it’s just great,” he said. “That’s something mom and I have enjoyed doing, is providing a good job for employees for the last 30 years.”
Farr said he’s not planning any type of special promotions as the restaurant winds down.
“I’m just going out smooth,” he noted. “The hardest thing for me, is not just shutting down the restaurant, it’s trying to get your inventory down.”
He said he would be “shrinking” the menu as the days count down.
“Things like Spin Dip might not be there anymore,” he said. “I’m making my last batch of Spin Dip because I don’t want to order a whole case of spinach. I’m still going to have my chimies and all that, but the rib-eye might go away. Some desserts might not be there. “
As the days count down, he said most of all, he’s thankful for decades of public support.
“The public has supported us for 30 years, we just appreciate the public and I’ve had great employees all that time,” he said.
Farr said they plan to remain open until mid-September and should be open for regular business hours unless a delivery truck is late.
Regular business hours for Patricia’s Mexican Restaurant, 3000 S. Limit Ave., are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 826-1000 ext. 1481 or @flbemiss.