Purchase photos

Carlos O'Kelly's closing in Hays

3/7/2014

By The Hays Daily News

Carlos O'Kelly's, 4107 Vine, is closing at 10 p.m. Sunday after 16 years in business.

Dave Phillips, the company's director of restaurant marketing, said "an untenable lease situation that makes it impossible to operate profitably" caused the closure.

"It is with deepest regret that we are making the difficult decision to close the Hays Carlos O' Kelly's," Phillips said. "We have enjoyed being a part of the Hays community for 16 years. However, we are in an untenable lease situation that makes it impossible to operate profitably. We could not have been prouder of the management team that carried us for those 16 years, and we will be creating other positions in our company for them.”

Approximately 45 employees are affected, said Darren Schumacher, general manager. The company will move the management team into other positions, and employees who have been with the company for at least a year will receive a severance package. He will help employees who are not as mobile connect with other area restaurants.

"We were surprised and saddened by the news," Schumacher said.

The restaurant has sponsored the Wild West Festival and hosted an outdoor Cinco de Mayo party with live music for the past five years.

"We tried to connect Carlos with the community in some way," he said.

Schumacher, a Hays USD 489 school board member, said his future plans are undetermined.

"I am staying with our company," he said. "I will have a senior management role, but we're still working on the specifics of that."