NEVADA CITY (CBS13) – Despite having a charming foothills location and a Gold Rush history, many struggling Nevada City businesses are shutting their doors.
Trolley Junction Restaurant has been in business for 25 years and is just one of four businesses shutting down at the end of the month.
Robin Adams’ family created a quaint community from the ground up. The family opened the Trolley Junction, the Northern Queen Motel and a senior-living complex.
“It just wasn’t worth it. After a while it’s just too much — got to be too much,” Adams said.
Longtime customers and the more than 20 employees are at a loss.
“It’s a devastating loss to Nevada City and to me personally. Life as I once knew it is over,” customer Sally Farrell said.
“It’s an icon in this town and it’s coming down,” employee Jesse Rowe said.
The owner says the economy just took its toll.
“Your food costs are escalating, the cost for gas to get food to these foothills is escalating,” said Adams.
She’s not alone. Business at Big O Tires in Grass Valley came to a halt Friday, and Cirino’s Bar & Grill is closing its Nevada City location after 30 years. Villa Venezia, which was voted one of the area’s best Italian restaurants, is also saying goodbye.
“Breaking our hearts, breaking our hearts,” customer Melise Munroe said.
The community fears there could be more economic bad news to come in the foothills.
“Daily, it’s a struggle to just keep it going. I know several people who have closed their organizations or shops,” said Adams.
Adams plans to lease out the building and hopes a mom-and-pop restaurant brings new life to the area while giving her employees a chance at a new job.
According to the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, some businesses stuck around through the holidays hoping Christmas would turn the tide, but the profits never came in.