Kelley's Cafe closes doors after its owner deals with health issues and customer decline

Beloved community cafe closes

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A beloved Oildale cafe closes their doors after serving the community for more than a decade.

Kelley's cafe, under the present owner, opened their doors on Golden State Highway back in 2001.

The restaurant owner, Steve Holland said a great location and faithful customers insured years of success.

However, construction of a new overpass at Seventh Standard Road, Highway 99 and Golden State Highway a few years ago, caused a detour that impacted their business negatively.

Last year they relocated the cafe to Norris Road. Area residents and local businesses were pleased that Kelley's Cafe became their new neighbor.

The previous tenant at that location ran a marijuana dispensary. The owner of Norris Barber Shop even donated and installed the restaurant's signage.

The restaurant officially closed on Sunday.

Holland says a recent heart attack caused him to slow down. He said his doctors told him to eliminate any undue stress in his life.

Additionally, the restaurant has seen a decline in customers during the last few months.

"I'm really sad to see Kelley's shutting down. This was one of the best places in town to get good home style cooking," said Mark Taylor.

Some of the restaurant servers were very active in helping their customers who may have fallen on hard times.

Darrell Houchin, a customer, recently benefited from one of their community benevolence projects. Houchin  lost his leg in a motorcycle accident last year and could not afford a prosthetic.

All the servers got together to start a donation fund and they helped to raise $15,000 for his new leg.

"Our customers were like family. We hate to disappoint the community for closing our doors, but this is just something we had to do and it makes us very sad," said Colleen Engle. 

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