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Johnny Garlic's Latest Arden Area Restaurant To Close In Last Year In Sacramento

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The closure of Guy Fieri's Johnny Garlic's on Arden Way is one of the latest in a series of restaurants shutting down in the Arden area.

The Fresh Choice on Howe Avenue seems to have joined that list, with workers dismantling the inside of the restaurant. They said they didn't think anything was lined up, and by no means is this the first.

Chevy's, TGI Fridays, and Thai Cottage are three more entries on that list of restaurants to close in the Arden area.

Paul Vang, who opened Giant Orange Diner on Howe last June says all the traffic on Howe hasn't amounted to amazing sales.

"We found a good spot, you know right in the heart of the Arden mall area, you know, lots of traffic here, so we figured this would be a good spot for Giant Orange," he said.

He's also noticed the growing graveyard.

"It's unfortunate, you know, as a business owner I really empathize with the restaurants going down, because it's a tough economy right now and so with the restaurants going down it's scary," he said.

But what is causing the closures in the otherwise busy area? Economist Sanjay Varshney says by nature, the restaurant business is rough.

"If they are not getting high traffic per square foot, or they're not getting large volume of either business customers or residential customers, it's going to be hard for them to overcome the fixed overheads," he said.

Sacramento County Supervisor Susan Peters says most of the shuttered businesses had larger corporations also not doing well.

"I think its more of a natural progression after a very a tough time in the economy," she said.

But all is not bad, she says, pointing to a multimillion dollar expansion project at the Howe Bout Arden Shopping Center.

"They are planning a huge investment there, in the way of a new shopping center with movie theaters and lots of new tenants," she said.

New life in the area, but in the meantime, owners like Vang will try to hang on.

"My wife and I and our six kids are going to do our best to keep it alive and keep the tradition going," he said.

The renovation will knock down the Motel 6 where Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Danny Oliver was shot and killed while checking on a suspicious vehicle on Oct. 24. The movie theater will also be moved, and millions will be put in to reinvigorate the complex.

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