May 29, 2024
Five remain in the state; last one in Oregon has also shut down.

The West Coast expansion of heartland mainstay Cracker Barrel took a hit this week with the closure of two of its three Northern California restaurants.

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The Cracker Barrels in Sacramento and Santa Maria have closed, the chain confirmed, without giving any reason more specific than “performance.”

It also announced the closure this week of restaurants in Medford — the last one in Oregon — and in Columbia, S.C.

California now has five Cracker Barrels, in Rocklin, Bakersfield, Camarillo, Victorville and Rialto. It also has “ghost kitchens,” preparing food for delivery, in Hollywood and Lawndale. The chain’s push into the Golden State started in 2018.

The 55-year-old Tennessee-based chain positions itself as homey, with comfort food in a country-store setting. Most of its more than 600 restaurants are in the Midwest and South.

The closure in the past 20 months of the five Oregon locations leaves the California restaurants as the only outposts in a West Coast state. A Reno Cracker Barrel opened in October, the third in Nevada.

In November, false clickbait ads on social media started a rumor that Cracker Barrel was going to be closing all its restaurants. Though the company acknowledged a slow recovery from the pandemic, it said at the time it had no plans to shut down.