Santa Fe Cattle Co. closes Tupelo corral

TUPELO – Three years after opening, Santa Fe Cattle Co. has closed, leaving about 65 workers without jobs.
Jay Osgood, the general manager of the Tupelo restaurant, said Monday was the location’s last day. Osgood said low sales volume, combined with the tough economy, contributed to the corporately owned store’s closing.
“A lot of good people working here are out of jobs,” he said Tuesday.
Osgood declined to say whether they were laid off or whether they would be transferred to other locations.
Santa Fe, based in Brentwood, Tenn., has two other Mississippi locations – Columbus and McComb.
Company spokesman Paul Jankowski said the company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on July 16 forced it to review its operations.
Closing Tupelo “was nothing we wanted to do – it was a good location in a good community,” he said.
“As part of Chapter 11, we had to pare down those stores that were not hitting the mark,” Jankowski said. “We also weren’t able to negotiate a lease with the landlord.”
He added that the company had no plans to close either Columbus or McComb.
In its Chapter 11 filing, the company said it had 27 restaurants. It said 16 new stores built over the past two years had “flourished” but “several of the older units have under-performed” and three of those were closed July 15.
According to the company’s Web site on Tuesday, Santa Fe had 15 remaining stores in seven states, with eight of them in Alabama.
The Tupelo restaurant was Santa Fe’s first location to open in Mississippi.

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal