Well-known Las Cazuelitas closes its doors

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Locked doors with signs thanking customers for their loyalty served an unwelcome surprise to Virginia Rodriguez who planned her father's 80th birthday party for 300 people at Las Cazuelitas on July 6th.

"The event is next week, we don't have a place for it, we've got people from out of town, relatives, friends that are coming from California, Texas, New Mexico, Sonora.  We don't know what to do," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez showed receipts totaling around $6000 for the party.  She wanted a refund, and not to be moved a few blocks away to another venue.  That's where Las Cazuelitas owner Abelardo Frisby is trying to accommodate as many of his 80 scheduled events as possible.

"I promised for them for July 6th and if they're not happy with this, one of these beautiful centers here in Tucson, we have the same accommodations as a hotel and everything, we're willing to give them back their total refund," Frisby said.

So who's to blame?

The property owner of Las Cazuelitas' recent location said that Frisby couldn't keep up his rent.  But Frisby disputed that, and said that the closure is not all on him and says the property owner's hotel closed, too.

"That could speak a lot.  If the hotel is open, maybe the restaurant is the one that defaulted.  If the hotel and restaurant are closed, then, that means, it's not the restaurant," Frisby said.

He said that he will reopen in a new location, and when he does, his patrons will know that he did not have financial problems.  Whatever the cause of the restaurant's closed doors, Rodriguez said that she still needs a solution.

"This was such a special event.  He was so looking forward to it as we were, and a lot of family members," Rodriguez said with tears in her eyes.

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