I am a close friend of the Venegas family that owns Sierra's Grill in Beltsville, MD. The family recently shared the sad news with me that the restaurant is in danger of closing it's doors unless they are able to pay the default in their lease that has accrued to $236,194.12.
As with many small businesses the recession hit them hard and they were able to stay afloat as best they could. The family has always placed its customers and employees first, as a matter of fact their employee retention rate is excellent. They avoided having to layoff employees with years of service by implementing changes here and there including making energy saving changes to cut down on utilities and both Mr. Venegas and his son Carlos who manages the restaurant took pay cuts. While business is has picked up and there has been steady flow of loyal and new customers progress to make ends meet was slow. The family continued to work hard to make positive changes for the restaurant including adding menu items that cater to the diverse community which surrounds Sierra's. Unfortunately, despite their hard work and commitment they were unable to make all ends meet. And now they are asking the community which they serve and love dearly to help keep their doors open.
The Venegas Family has owned and operated Sierra's for close to 30 years! It has been a staple and landmark in the Beltsville community and a place that many have called a home away from home. This small family run restaurant gives its patrons exactly that... a sense of FAMILY, a place where its employees and patrons know each other by name. Mr. Venegas and his family have had the pleasure of seeing families grow and now younger generations that once came to Sierra's with their parents are loyal patrons with families of their own. It would be a shame to see it close.
I hope that if you are reading this you remember some fond memory about Sierra's and are able to help in any way.
Please see the statement below from the Venegas Family:
"We survived the recession having to take drastic measures, however as a result we accrued a $236, 194.12 default in our lease. We don't want to close, because these last 29 years of service to the community has given us the privilege and honor to get to know many customers by name, to be able to provide them with their favorite dishes and entice them with new flavors, it has all been a great joy. Working a small family business, day in and day out, is daunting and tiresome, but in the end it has all been worth it. We have never done this before or had to ask for help in such a manner. We can sell the business but we don't want to lose the friends and relationships we have harnessed and built with customers over the years. We have seen and witnessed what new ownership does. It is a difficult choice and we don't want to lose that. We want to continue to provide the same service we have been providing for 29 years and appreciate any help we can receive. Thank you all.
The Venegas Family"
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