FARMINGTON — K-BOB's Steakhouse in Farmington has closed, a company spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.
"We do not like having to close a restaurant; however, as our focus and priorities have changed, so has the footprint of K-BOB's, both in geography and market focus," said Ed Tinsley, a company spokesperson, in a email about the restaurant, located at 2800 E. Main St. in Farmington.
He noted Farmington's location played a role in the decision to close the restaurant.
The restaurant was the only K-BOB's in the northwest New Mexico, and that created strains on the company's management and marketing, according to the email. The company's corporate offices are located in Santa Fe, and it has restaurants in Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico, according to the company's website. The Farmington restaurant was the farthest west of the chain's locations, according to the site.
"It is our only restaurant in that geographic area, making it hard for marketing, distribution and supervision, as it stands alone in most cases from the balance of our restaurant system," Tinsley wrote.
He said the company is looking for opportunities that include full-bar services and that are cost-friendly to business.
"We felt such a move will compliment our strategy to have a different look and feel to our restaurants, with full bars and affordable liquor licenses," Tinsely wrote.
In the last 15 months, the chain has opened four new restaurants in New Mexico and two in Texas.
A woman, who declined to be interviewed, answered a phone call placed to K-BOB's Farmington location on Tuesday and confirmed the restaurant was closed.
Tinsley didn't specify how many employees will be affected by the closure. He said managers will be relocated, and employees can apply for transfers to other cities.
"We regret that we may have to terminate the employment of so many great staff/team members," he said.
Ray Hagerman, CEO of Four Corners Economic Development, said he doesn't like to see local businesses close, but he noted Farmington has also had new restaurants open recently.
"It's a competitive world, and sometimes it's hard for every restaurant to compete," he said. "We hate to see anything close."
He said the food and beverage industry often has openings for restaurant staff, so people who have lost jobs can usually find other work, if they have good work records.
"I guarantee you there are open restaurant jobs that are open and that those people (laid off at K-BOB's) can slide right into tomorrow," he said.
Tinsley said the company will provide references for team members who lost their jobs with the closure.