KCRA Ground Cow Restaurant Closes 11-14-2013
When I was given the go-ahead to start doing my own stories as both a photographer and reporter, I tried to focus on business stories about what small business were doing to keep afloat in the new recession. This past week I finally did a story about a privately owned business that didn’t make it.
Thirty years ago Gus Mathiopoulos and his brother bought the restaurant at the Penryn exit on I-80 just east of Rocklin and Loomis. I’ve past this place hundreds of times on my way up into the foothills and the Sierras and Lake Tahoe on weather and fires and any numbers of stories. I’ve always glances over at the place, an 11,000 square foot building, and wondered how a huge restaurant like that keeps going. It used to be a popular place for people both in the area and traveling to pull in and have a meal. But with the massive growth in Roseville, just a few miles down the road, the customers haven’t been taking the time to travel a bit further up to Penryn.
Assignment editor Melissa Chacon spoke with Gus in the morning and set up the story for me to go and cover as a one-man/one-person story.
Gus was unbelievably candid with me, as you can see in the story. This is a very sad story to cover. I hate to see someone’s business and dream not go on and continue and thrive. But life goes on and Gus and his family are hopeful that their restaurant will be leased by a corporation that has the assets to keep a restaurant going in today’s shifting economy.
For my part, it turned out to be one of the easiest stories to put together. Gus told me more than I needed as far as information, and I literally wrote most of the story in my head on the drive back to the station. It was logged, written, edited and uploaded over an hour before it was even slated to air.
I wish Gus and his wife Diane the best & thank them for sharing their story so openly with me.