Bakersfield, CA, USA. When, after its forced closure due to the pandemic, it was announced that the Noriega, this historical benchmark of Basque life in Bakersfield, would not reopen, many people were disappointed. Radios, TV and local, state, and national newspapers dedicated articles and spaces to it, and many people called or wrote expressing their frustation.
Over the days the news has not improved and just a couple of hours ago, around Thursday midnight in California and Friday's early morning time in the Basque Country, the Elizalde family has released a note that leaves no room for doubt.
In fact, day and time have already been put up for sale of objects and goods from the interior of Noriega. It will be next week.
But rather than commenting it, better to read the Noriega's note irself. It is the following:
To our loyal customers, friends who have become family, and the community of supporters,
We were hoping to be able to share some good news this month regarding the future of Noriega Hotel, but unfortunately that is not the case.
The owners, Linda and Rochelle, had been in talks with potential buyers of the business in the hopes that Noriega’s could continue on in its current location and tradition of family-style Basque dining.
Sadly, with increasing rent costs and uncertainty surrounding COVID and how to operate a family style restaurant in the traditional sense, none of the deals worked out.
It is after much thought and deliberation that the decision has been made to liquidate the business and move on with life, allowing Linda and Rochelle the opportunity to enjoy a retirement that is much deserved.
The hope is that at some point in the future, Rochelle’s daughters will be in a position to fulfill a dream they have had together of opening their own version of a “Noriega’s” in some capacity, creating their own traditions with the love and hard work learned from their family.
With that said, we will be having an estate sale on Friday, June 19th and Saturday, June 20th from 10am-3pm at Noriega’s.
We will be selling a number of items including the bar and back bar, antique safe, dining tables, stoves, refrigerators, Basque table cloths, and a myriad of restaurant equipment.
If you would like to purchase any items, nostalgic or otherwise, from the historic Noriega Hotel, now is your chance.
Please remember and respect that this business was the heart and soul of our family for the last 89 years and is not simply an opportunity to take advantage of that loss.
This has been an incredibly difficult decision for the family to make and one that wasn’t taken lightly.
We appreciate your understanding in this difficult time for us and know that for many of you it is also a lifetime of memories that are coming to an end.
If you are a serious buyer or think there may be some piece of Noriega’s that you would love to own, please stop by!
And if you have questions prior to the estate sale, please leave a message at (661) 324-3885.
We will not be answering messages on Facebook, but will try to return calls and voicemail messages left as soon as we possibly can.
With love and gratitude, we thank you again for your years of patronage and support.
The Elizalde Family