Landmark restaurant facing closure due to new Federal Law

Landmark restaurant facing closure due to new Federal Law

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EL CENTRO - A Landmark Restaurant is being forced to shut down unless it upgrades its water system.

According to County Officials, Camacho's Place has until December 7th to have a certified water treatment system installed or they will be forced to close its doors.

The restaurant uses purified drinking water to serve its customers, make ice and cook their food but uses chemically treated canal water for its sinks and bathrooms and that doesn't coincide with the new Safe Drinking Water Act.

The new water treatment system would cost the owners $300,000 plus an additional fee of $1,000 for monthly maintenance.

According to co-owner, Rosie Cuellar, that amount is just too much money for her small business.

"$300,000 for a water system", she says. "For washing your hands, doing dishes, and flushing toilets. We don't serve that water. That's too much money, we can't afford it. We're just a little business".

The landmark restaurant was opened in 1946 by The Camacho Family and is the last remaining restaurant of that era to still be owned and operated by the same family.

Brawley resident Dennis Croughan has been coming to Camacho's since 1965 when his mother introduced him to the restaurant.

"My mother loved coming here. "She loved bringing relatives because they were wondering ‘where are we going', this was out in the middle of nowhere. She couldn't imagine this being a restaurant. My mother long since passed away and I still come here, I love coming here, I think the food is wonderful".

It seems like everyone in town has their own story on how they came upon Camacho's.

"I used to in a cycling group that would come by here every Sunday afternoon", says John Feller. "We'd ride out here and I've been coming out here since 1977, 35 years. It's apart of my life"

Rosie says that if the restaurant is forced to close, it won't be just the owners who feel the effects.

"What are they gonna do, like this waitress here? She wants to go to college and she's paying for her car, paying rent and that's the only way she can survive otherwise she won't have any money. It'll be everybody on unemployment"

The restaurant is doing everything they can to try to get the money including posting it on their Facebook page.

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