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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Deer carcass leads La Charreada to close

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

After five years in business, La Charreada closed its doors Sunday. The closure came after a sharp decline in sales that followed a surprise inspection in which the health department found employees butchering a deer carcass in the restaurant's kitchen during business hours, the eatery's landlord confirmed Tuesday.

Charlie Rodgers, the owner of the Shoppes of Greencastle, said La Charreada's owner, Socrates Montano, told him Monday that he had decided to shut down the Greencastle store and doesn't plan on returning to town.

On Oct. 24, health inspectors received a tip about a deer carcass in the kitchen. When they arrived, they found several employees crouched around the bloody piece of meat, according to the inspection report.

The Board of Health immediately shut down the restaurant for two days while employees cleaned the kitchen and threw out any food that might have been contaminated by the deer.

The health department placed the restaurant on probation for six months, during which time inspectors performed weekly checkups.

Inspectors have found no health code violations since the restaurant's closing. Previous reports, however, show a myriad of violations. The health department also shut down the restaurant once before.

Rodgers said the falloff in business after the closure was enough to that the La Charreada could not afford to stay open any longer, he said.

In an interview with the BannerGraphic in November, district manager Juan Valery said revenue dropped 65 to 70 percent since the deer carcass incident.

After the closure, the owner fired the manager and four employees who were involved in bringing the deer into the kitchen.

Valery also offered a public apology and underscored the company's position that the management was not at fault for the incident; employees acted independently and without the knowledge of supervisors, he said.

This, apparently, was not enough to lure customers back, however. The BannerGraphic learned Friday that La Charreada might close Sunday.

By Tuesday the restaurant has a hand-written paper sign taped to the door that simply said, "Closed."

Rodgers said La Charreada was a good tenant and seemed to be doing good business before the bad publicity.

He said he's already received interest from a new company for 3,500-square foot vacancy in the shopping center. The new company is not a restaurant, he said.

However, Rodgers said he hopes to replace La Charreada with another eatery, since the location seemed to draw a lot of traffic.

That could take some time to attract, though, since Greencastle and Putnam County have a comparatively small population that make many chains reluctant to set up shop, he added.

Multiple calls from the BannerGraphic to Montano and Valery were not returned.

La Charreada has two other locations, one in Bloomington and one in Marion, Ind.

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-- Posted by guesswhonow on Wed, Dec 5, 2007, at 1:03 PM

NNNOOOOOOO!!!!! Now where are we supposed to eat?!?!?!?!

-- Posted by Mrs.Summers on Wed, Dec 5, 2007, at 1:35 PM

Come on people, do you like getting food poisoning. I am one who is glad they check on these places. There is a nice mexican place on the square.

-- Posted by colts#1fan on Wed, Dec 5, 2007, at 2:01 PM


-- Posted by Michele1953 on Wed, Dec 5, 2007, at 9:39 PM

Good Bye! Go eat somewhere that doesn't serve roadkill, there are a couple of Steakhouses on the South end of town that serve pretty good food.

-- Posted by HelloMcFly on Wed, Dec 5, 2007, at 10:41 PM


-- Posted by fillmore resident on Thu, Dec 6, 2007, at 2:24 PM

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