PARADISE, Calif. - La Comida restaurant in Paradise is closing its doors after almost 50 years of business.
The owner of the family business, Michael Pavis, said it's just not profitable for him to do business in a small town like Paradise anymore.
"It's a bummer we've been coming here since I was five-years-old, three-years-old and it's just we knew it was closing, so that's why we ended up coming here today," said Paradise resident, Daniel Perkins.
Perkins has been coming to La Comida for years with his mom. He says it's their favorite restaurant.
La Comida is a family-run mexican restaurant that is affordable and prepares fresh foods every day.
Pavis said his father, Michael Sr., started the business back in 1968.
"I've been running it for many many years now," Pavis said. "My kids are here working for me now, everybody that comes here feels like family."
Pavis said he can probably name half of the customers that come into the Chico restaurant.
He said what's really sustained La Comida's image over the years is the "family-community feel."
Pavis, said there were a lot of issues that came into play when deciding to close the restaurant in Paradise.
This included the re-design of the Skyway, doing business in a town with no sewer system and the maintenance cost for a septic tank.
He said the biggest problem was that minimum wage will increase $1 every year to reach $15 an hour.
"It's not supportable in a low-volume kind of business that we have up in Paradise," Pavis said.
Pavis said with the amount of customers at the Chico location, they can absorb the minimum wage increases much better.
"My focus is going to remain on the Chico store," Pavis said. "As far as another location, I don't wanna rale too much about it, but I will never ever open another business in California. The business environment in California now is just ridiculous."
The employees at La Comida in Paradise were emotional when they found out about the closing of the restaurant.
Sage John has worked multiple roles at La Comida including cashier, cook and prepping the food.
She started working there in April, but said everyone has welcomed her into their small family and she is sad to be leaving them so soon.
"There's one guy that comes in every single day," John said. "It's gonna be sad especially if they don't come in-- if they come in every couple weeks and they don't come in by the time we close we won't have a way to let them know that we're closing, we're not gonna be able to see them or say bye."
La Comida's last day in Paradise is Friday and will officially be closed on September 1st, but the Chico location is still open.
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