Francisco’s Restaurante y Cantina, a 46-year-old Main Avenue mainstay, has closed without explanation.
The restaurant was purchased last year by Michelle and Dan Featheringill of Santa Fe. They bought the business from Francis and Claudine Garcia, who had owned the restaurant at 619 Main Ave. since 1968.
The Featheringills are “not in the picture anymore,” Francis Garcia said Friday.
He declined to discuss the circumstances surrounding the closure.
“I’ve been advised by counsel not to talk about it,” he said.
Michelle Featheringill did not reply to messages left Friday at her cellphone number, and Dan Featheringill could not be reached at his architecture firm’s offices in Durango and Santa Fe.
The Garcias still own the building in a valuable section of Main Avenue. Francis Garcia said his family had not made any decisions about the restaurant’s future.
“We’re going to get together for Thanksgiving, and we’ll decide,” he said.
Garcia is 73, and his only surviving son, Skip, lives in Tucson, Arizona. The third generation is not experienced in the restaurant industry, Garcia said. Garcia said his family does not want him to return to the daily grind of running a restaurant.
The restaurant’s closure, in the heart of downtown Main Avenue, has been the talk of Durango’s business community. The closure has some wondering if the Garcias could choose to reopen the restaurant, or perhaps find another tenant.
Durango’s restaurant industry appears to be healthy. Sales-tax revenues from restaurants grew to $2.1 million for the year through September, up 4 percent from the same period in 2013.
At Francisco’s, a sign posted on the door Friday read simply, “Closed.” A previous sign said it was closed through Nov. 9.
The lights were on at Francisco’s on Friday.
Francis Garcia said his family was cleaning the restaurant.
“I feel sorry for my place,” he said, “even though it’s wood and stucco.”