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Seafood Galley In West-Central Closes

By ABC-7 Reporter/Anchor Celina Avila

EL PASO — While many local economists say the Borderland is far from an economic crisis, many businesses are feeling the effects of the economic turmoil nationwide.

Now, rising costs have forced the popular “Seafood Galley” in west-central El Paso to close its doors.

Friday, the restaurant was packed for lunch and many patrons said they understood how the current economic climate could have affected the restaurant.

“It is surprising for a local restaurant that a lot of people have known for many years, but with the economy the way it is, it can happen very quickly,” said Gayle Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said she grew up dining at the restaurant and has a lot of memories. “Even when I was in high school, there was a lot of kids that I went to school with that worked here during those years.”

Her parents were especially sad to see it go. “The children were in school and there used to be a window on that side wherethey used to get popcorn shrimp all the time.”

Max Long, the owner of the restaurant for 33 years, said he couldn’t help but be emotional. “We have some really loyal customers, makes me want to cry.. I mean they’re like family,” he said.

Long says the restaurant business is tough, but recent conditions have made it even tougher. “Rising gas prices, minimum wage, surcharges on deliveries, food cost going up …You know all that stuff that hurts a restaurant.”

Not too long ago, the nearby Steak and Ale restaurant at Basett Place also closed.”What’s gonna go next,” askedBasset Place Manager Margarite buyers.

She saidmanagement is working to get that vacant spot filled. “I can’t say who but we’ve got someone new coming into Basset into the old steak and ale space.”

Longsaid several businessmen have expressed interest in buying the restaurant andbelieves the Seafood Galley can keep serving El Paso another 40 years if they get strong support from the community. “I think it needs new life, new blood … you know some different things.”

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