North Macon El Azteca Closes

2:10 PM, Nov 28, 2011   |    comments
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The owner of a north Macon Mexican restaurant says he's closing down after 10 years due to the economy and business decline along Tom Hill Sr. Blvd.

Raul Macias, owner and manager of El Azteca, says the restaurant shut down at the end of Saturday night's shift.

"We had a good run," he said, but too many neighboring businesses have left in the last couple years, he said. They include a movie theater, a Barnes & Noble and the nearby Taylor Made Grill.

"They all brought foot traffic into the area," said. "Now everything is moving to the new (Shoppes at River Crossing) mall area."

The building at 169 Tom Hill Sr. Blvd. was the site of a 2000 after-hours armed robbery in which three customers were raped. At the time, the restaurant was named the Rio Bravo, under different ownership.

"A lot of people thought I was nuts" to start a new restaurant  in the same location a year later, Macias said.

"Then we signed our lease two weeks before Sept. 11th (in 2001). We survived all that. But the economy is not cooperating with us. It's a combination of the business decline and operating costs are too high."

The closing will put about 20 to 30 people out of work, he said.

Macias said he and his wife were busy Monday processing the staff's final paychecks.

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