Winona's Chula Vista to close this month

2013-10-08T00:00:00Z 2013-12-31T12:49:52Z Winona's Chula Vista to close this monthBy Nathan Hansen Winona Daily News

Months after celebrating the restaurant’s 25th birthday, Chula Vista owner Jason Hubbard is calling it quits and closing the restaurant Oct. 29.

Hubbard announced the decision Monday morning, saying a number of factors resulted in the decision to close. But the primary one was the restaurant had been struggling for more than a year to turn a profit.

“It’s sad to see it go,” Hubbard said. “But if the business isn’t making money, it’s time to move on.”

Hubbard said competition with other Mexican restaurants in town had taken a toll.

“It just seems like what people want has changed,” he said. “It’s hard to keep up with those changing wants and needs.”

The restaurant was also hit hard earlier this summer when an electrical fire caused by the exterior neon resulted in more than $100,000 in damage to the restaurant, and Hubbard had to close for seven weeks.

“We hoped with a little remodeling that we could bring the restaurant back,” he said. “It’s been downhill from there.”

Hubbard said he made the decision to close last week, and Chula Vista’s last day coincides with end of his lease with the property’s owner. Hubbard also said he decided not to renew the business’ liquor license, which expired at the end of September.

Hubbard has worked at Chula Vista for more than 17 years, the last five as the owner. While there hasn’t been any interest yet, he said he hopes to find a buyer for the restaurant; otherwise, the furniture and other items will be sold and auctioned off.

“It was like a second family here,” Hubbard said. “I am definitely going to miss a lot of the customers and staff.”

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