Colby Jack’s Café and Bakery shutting its doors

April 26, 2013

colby jacksAfter less than two years at the Atascadero Carlton Hotel, Colby Jack’s Café & Bakery is shutting its doors, the third restaurant to fail at the location in the past four years.

Previously, Shockley’s closed after a year at the location. Before that, the state ordered the property’s owner David Weyrich to shut down The Carlton Restaurant & Grill because of a failure to pay state taxes.

Colby Jack’s owners Jack and Natalie Dorris, who filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection last month, said that the rising cost of doing business, declines in the restaurant industry and an inability to renegotiate their lease agreement led to the restaurants closure.

“We have tried to work with and negotiate with David Weyrich of The Carlton Hotel for several months in an effort to renegotiate the terms of our lease, but we have not been able to come to a mutually beneficial agreement, Jack and Natalie Dorris said in an email. “We did enter into this business relationship in good faith hoping we could grow our businesses together and to create a harmonious working relationship within the hotel, however, we were only able to achieve that goal for a short period of time.”

Colby Jack operations in the Carlton Hotel will continue through the end of May. The Dorrises said they plan to honor their banquet and catering commitments until that time.

Their Bakery Manager Cassie Hunt will continue to honor the wedding cake bookings for the remainder of the year.

“It is with great regret that after nearly five years of hard work and service that Colby Jack’s will close its doors,” the Dorrises said. “We’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing and talented people and we will do our best to help them transition on to new employment.”



A sad end to another good business in Atown. Anyone see a pattern here?

I too do not want to beat up on Atown, but the facts are obvious and plain for all to see.

Atown has many problems and most have been self inflicted by the lack of leadership as of late or lack of good planning over the years since incorporation.

Yes, poor city planning, poor city infrastructure, poor city support for local small businesses and the many poor examples of economic responsibility by the city are all clearly visble and can be read about almost daily in the media. The small mom and pop businesses are suffering and are leaving at a increasing rate.

Just comparing the two cities of Paso Robles and Atascadero over the last 40 years and the facts speak volumes. Paso and Atown both have boomed in population, yet what truly seperates them is that Paso had a forward vision that was brought to life by good planning, city support of the downtown core, and a history of helping businesses grow.

Atown is one big strip mall that stretches over ten miles long and other than the Carlton has no real vibrant core downtown. Paso has many reasons for tourists to come and stay in the downtown area, Atown does not. Paso revitalised the downtown even after it was brought to the ground by an earthquake, Atown is still struggling to rebuild the rotunda, the sunken gardens and the property where the city hall is sitting ten years later. Paso and Atown both had similar populations 40 years ago and both have grown, yet only one is truly vibrant and attracts people from all over the world to visit and enjoy the reasons to come there and spend money.

IMHO, Paso Robles will continue to boom and soon will rival San Luis Obispo in population and reasons for visitors to come and spend time and money.

Atascadero will continue to see population growth but little else in ways to attract new business or tourist dollars, unless it makes a change in leadership and the way planning is done. And the only area that is vibrant today is the two block area off of ECR, Traffic Way and Entrada, where small businesses like the restaurants, galleries and shops have blossomed and saved what the Carlton Hotel could not.


Weyrich was charging Shockley’s something like $18,000 a month for rent in the end. I don’t know what he gouged Colby Jack’s for but I would guess it was just as unreasonable.


18K a month! Are you certain? If true, no wonder they didn’t make it.


The only ones that can afford to eat out anymore are the government employees. And now that we’re furloughing them, even they’re on the beans and rice at home plan.

Sorry to hear it. Colby Jacks was on my list of places to try, but I just can’t seem to find myself in Atascadero in the evenings.


Add the Guest House Grill to your list. I miss all those other great places too.


Atascadero is a tough place to try to run any business, let alone a restaurant. Remember Players, Peppertree, Wendy’s, Denny’s,Golden Dragon, Gibsons etc. etc. even the corporate stuff fails. You gotta have True Grit to survive in such a hard scrabble environment. I know.


Somebody needs to open an Italian Restaurant by the Sunken Gardens. If they include meatball and other Italian subs so that there is something for everyone be it a $6.00 sandwich to a $20.00 plate, they’ll do well in my opinion. Everybody loves Italian food, no?


PLEASE!!! Have to go to Morro Bay and Paso for a piece of lasagna!


Loved the Village Café, it was the best!


Genie’s, Big Bubbas, Cal Terra, Village Cafe…


Bubbas already failed in Atascadero, now Crazy Sushi Fever has taken its turn in the hopper at that location. Al Swearengen was busted flat in Atascadero and moved on to Deadwood.


Hoover’s and that monster building with no elevator to the bar on the second floor. How did that happen, who paid off the City powers??


Hoovers closing made a huge statement IMO.

Atascadero needs a steak house.


I see a few things working against it. First rule in business is more is not better. Common that if you expand your business to fast, failure is not uncommon. They increaced floor space ten fold and employee’s by 200%. Employee compensation (i.e. workers comp) is expensive. You better have a LOT of butts in those seats on a regular basis.

Second restaurant business are (if not the highest) one of the most common business failures.

Last. Location, location, location. Like I mentioned on article about Atascadero and wanting more bed tax. So WHAT is there to do in Atascadero? And just like the hotel, when you sit at the restaurant what is your view of out on ECR? I am NOT meaning to beat up on the city, I am only stating the obivious.


You’re not beating up on A-town; you’re telling the truth. The Carlton sits smack-dab across from what? A used car lot and muffler shop? Something like that… No view, no easy parking for Colby Jack customers. No quiet street to stroll upon after your meal (El Camino Real is hardly a place for an after-dinner walk). Homeless folks taking over the so-called “Sunken” Gardens…

Instead of pumping a bunch of money into their “downtown”, Atascadero should keep sprucing up the Lake Park. Dredge that filthy lake and make it nice again. The Zoo’s getting better, plenty of parking…it has potential.


Yes they need something to attract you. I’ve lived in Paso (except a few years in Atown) for 33 years. In the early eighties right out of high school, a lot of us young locals would cruise Spring St. in Paso. On a Friday and Sat. night the town was DONE after about five or six oclock in the evening. Now look. It doesn’t die out till twelve or one a.m.!! Hmmm what changed???


“Homeless folks taking over the so-called “Sunken” Gardens… ”

Huh, honestly, where do people come up with these “ideas”? Homeless are not taking over the sunken gardens. Heck I was sitting outside at Sylvesters with friends from out of town last weekend and there wasn’t a single homeless looking derelict in the Sunken Gardens.


I have not seen homeless overtaking Sunken Gardens either.


Not “overtaken” but certainly present. I drove by there today and there were several sitting around, but not panhandling!


Got thinking about something else that Atown needs to make this work. MORE restaurants in same area. Think about it. Paso has eleven restaurants (from my count maybe more) all within a two block area of the park. What is in a two block area of the Carlton??

I think that when people go out they may not have a speific in mind but if you can drive to a general area with a lot of restaurants, park walk around and then decide, if might be more attractive.


“They increaced floor space ten fold.”

No they didn’t, the floor space in the restaurant is the same as it always was. A-Town has no night life, and maybe they would have done well to turn the dining room into a club environment on weekends and brought in some live entertainment. During the week, they would have done well to create a more intimate atmosphere so avoid that 90% empty feeling by closing off a large portion of the dinning room with some sliding accordion style paneled doors.

It’s too bad because the Carlton is a beautiful hotel. Eventually somebody will figure out how to make it all work.


Obviously, people have not walked around the Carlton. While not 11 or so, within a block or so you, there is The Fig, The Haven, Sylvesters, and then walk down to the theatre where you have a great Mexican restaurant, Pizza. ice cream, etc. I was at the movies one night and heard 2 people talking about the quality of Colby Jack’s food declining since the move, service, prices for what they got. They felt bad because they loved the old location and great food!

I do have a major concern about the homeless since they come through the tunnel and hang out during the day in the Sunken Gardens or in the creek behind the schools. As that project grows so will the problems and now with their Homeless Bill of Rights on the horizon this issue will definitely blossom either in Sunken Gardens or The Lake. Very sad!


Um Cindy the article in Trib said they went from about 1300sq ft. at prior location to about 13,000 at this. What did I miss?????


I didn’t know that you were talking about a prior location and I don’t read the Tribune anymore.


Yea in posting I thought this article mentioned also.


Maybe they should’ve just stayed in their previous, much smaller location. Very sad to see another small business shut its doors.


It was Weyrich who did not pay sales tax. He is a horrible business person and morbidly obese.


Even hiding in obscurity, Dave can ruin lives. What a piece of work. Don’t save the only reason locals would go near the place, no, jack ip the rent until the owners have to leave. Good luck finding a fourth operator for this dinosaur of a location! Memo to Dave: you and Kelly Gearhart need to hire a Life Coach and set things right. You’re both running out of time!


let’s see; “inability to renegotiate their lease agreement led to the restaurants closure”, ” failure to pay state taxes”. what other reasons?


Another reason: I can’t imagine David Weyrich as being a great landlord.