Home Local NewsLocal NewsSacramento Cracker Barrel closes Sacramento CA location. Here’s why

Cracker Barrel closes Sacramento CA location. Here’s why

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Popular American chain Cracker Barrel locked the doors this week to its Sacramento-area site after roughly six years of business.

The site at 1000 Howe Ave. in Arden Arcade, which once dripped with Southern country flair, is now bare and boarded following a Monday closure. A large sign that reads “This location is now closed” is fixed to the building.

A site in Santa Maria has also closed.

“We’re deeply saddened to announce (the Sacramento) location has closed,” Cracker Barrel wrote in a farewell statement to its customers.

“To our Sacramento community — we’ve been honored to welcome guests into a home-away-from-home at our store, and we’ve valued the opportunity to be part of so many special occasions for our guests and community,” the Tennessee-based restaurant chain added.

The site opened in the summer of 2018 with fanfare.

Customers wait in line for for the grand opening of Cracker Barrel in Arden Arcade in 2018. Hector Amezcua Sacramento Bee file

On grand opening day, the line into the restaurant wrapped around the famous front porch, one hungry customer after the other excited to step inside the building for the first time.

In a 2018 interview, Sacramento resident Rosalie Vierra said she cut her vacation short at Yellowstone National Park to be there in memory of her Aunt Myrtle.

“(Aunt Myrtle) was wonderful about taking people on trips … she liked taking people (to Cracker Barrel) for the first time,” Vierra said as she swayed back and forth in a rocking chair on the restaurant’s patio.

Rosalie Vierra of Sacramento center holds a sign with a picture of her aunt Myrtle, who introduced her to Cracker Barrel, during the 2018 grand opening of the restaurant in Arden Arcade. Vierra said she cut her vacation in Yellowstone National Park short to be at the opening. Hector Amezcua Sacramento Bee file

Aunt Myrtle had the right idea.

Cracker Barrel was founded in 1969 after founder Dan Evins wanted to “meet the needs of folks on the road,” according to its website.

“Evins figured maybe folks traveling on the big, new interstate system might appreciate a clean, comfortable, relaxed place to stop in for a good meal and some shopping,” the chain said.

Crack Barrel is probably best known for its front porch, typically adorned with wooden rocking chairs and chess sets.

Inside the restaurant, customers work to solve brain games at the table while they wait for popular entrees like the Old Timer’s Breakfast, Mama’s Pancake Breakfast or Grandma’s Sampler.

A blinking traffic light fixed above the vestibule illuminates the route to the restrooms.

Marketed as a treasure hunt, Cracker Barrel’s Old Country Store is stacked with clothing and accessories, home decor and that “one-of-a-kind gift for someone.”

Why did the Cracker Barrel in Arden Arcade close?

In an emailed statement on Wednesday morning, Cracker Barrel was tight-lipped about the reason behind the closure but hinted at performance issues.

“As a standard course of business, we continually evaluate the performance of our stores, using various criteria to ensure we are meeting the needs of our guests and our business,” the chain said.

“The decision to close a store is never one we take lightly, and our focus right now is on assisting our impacted employees during this transition.”

The company said it offers employees transfers to other locations, severance packages and additional assistance.

“We extend our sincere thanks to our employees who worked so hard to keep our fireplace glowing and to the guests who have dined with us, celebrated with us, and made us part of their community,” the chain said.

Other Cracker Barrel locations

The Cracker Barrel site at 1000 Howe Ave. is permanently closed.

The last standing location in the capital region is at 4630 Sierra College Blvd. in Rocklin, according to the chain’s website.

The other California sites are in Victorville, Bakersfield, Rialto and Camarillo.

What do you want to know about life in Sacramento? Ask our service journalism team your top-of-mind questions in the module below or email servicejournalists@sacbee.com.

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