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Velvet Cactus closes BR location due to inflated costs, struggles for local businesses

1 year 1 month 3 weeks ago Thursday, December 29 2022 Dec 29, 2022 December 29, 2022 6:36 PM December 29, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Mia Monet

BATON ROUGE - The Velvet Cactus is just the latest restaurant in Baton Rouge to close its doors, as a handful have shut down in the capital area over the past year.

The popular Mexican-inspired restaurant took to Facebook Thursday morning to announce its doors have closed. Their statement reads in part: “We appreciate the love our patrons have given us over the years and the care and dedication our employees have shown for the business from beginning to end.”

Owners of other local restaurants, like Pit-N-Peel's Elvondae Raybon, say rising food prices could be to blame.

“Cooking oil went from $17 to $47 prior to COVID, and during COVID, those businesses that were able to stay open, stayed open. The prices never dropped, so now, there is no need to adjust that market price back down,” Raybon said.

Raybon says he can’t rely solely on serving customers every day to make ends meet. He caters events and keeps his employee count low.

“In my situation here at Pit-N-Peel, I always worked as if I was in a pandemic. It was just me as an employee and one other person that runs this place,” he said.

Sometimes, he has to make tough decisions about prices to make sure his restaurant can stay afloat.

“I’ve been here nine years. I’ve seen restaurants open and close in Baton Rouge for less than what The Cactus is dealing with,” Raybon said.

If you have a gift card for The Velvet Cactus, you can redeem it at their New Orleans location, or email aimee.sandrock@yahoo.com to receive a refund.

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