Cabo Wabo Restaurant Leaves Fresno - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Cabo Wabo Restaurant Leaves Fresno

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By Norma Yuriar and Winston Whitehurst

Sammy Hagar fans packed into Cabo Wabo Friday for what could be the last time. "I'm going in to get some tequila before they run out," said Ervin Price.  Price says he's disappointed and surprised Cabo Wabo is closing after only a few months in business.  This week Hagar announced he was giving restaurant owner Milt Barbis until the first of the year to take his Cabo Wabo name off the Fresno restaurant.  Barbis tells KMPH News he plans to unveil the new name next week and begin the remodeling process. 

"We are excited about the direction we are moving in right now," said Barbis in a statement to KMPH News.  "The entertainment venue will not be closed at any time.  It will be more exciting that it ever was."

Barbis says he can't discuss why he and Hagar severed their ties because of a confidentiality agreement.

It wasn't long ago that hundreds of Van Halen fans packed into Cabo Wabo to see the rock star perform during a free concert in late October.  During that time Hagar spoke exclusively with KMPH News about his vision.  "I like what Milt was trying to do with this whole thing so I liked the idea of Cabo Wabo.  I thought it could be a good thing for Fresno," said Hagar during an October 28th interview, "Fresno has been great to me.  It's a great rock and roll town."

But Granite Park's financial troubles may have proved too much for Hagar and Barbis.  Despite the crowds at Cabo Wabo and nearby restaurants, the Granite Park Development is still unfinished.

The Village at Granite Park was slated to become a multi-purpose recreation complex, with indoor and outdoor facilities for a number of sports including baseball, soccer, and volleyball. The park also includes a shopping mall and a selection of restaurants and a fitness center with a 60 foot high climbing wall.

The city of Fresno has millions at stake; it backed a $5.5 million loan in exchange for the use of the athletic fields.

On Friday, Barbis said his vision for the Granite Park Complex had changed and confirmed that starting next week the Cabo Wabo brand would come down for good.

"It seams like it just opened and already you are hearing this, it's kind of sad," said Jaime Nunez, a Cabo Wabo patron.

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