Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.
KINGMAN – Canyon 66 Restaurant and Lounge closed Monday for “emergency maintenance,” according to a notice posted on the door, and a bartender said she hasn’t been paid in about a month.
Hotel owners Joel and Noble Zubaid were scheduled to meet with employees Monday evening, then Tuesday morning and now Friday, said Misha Dollarhide, who has worked 4½ years as a bartender at the restaurant.
“I knew it was coming, but I really wasn’t expecting this,” Dollarhide said about the Canyon 66 closure. “I guess I was. We haven’t received a paycheck in four or five weeks.”
Numerous attempts by the Daily Miner to contact the owners by email and telephone over the past few days were unsuccessful.
Dollarhide said there were times when had to cash her paycheck before depositing the money into her bank account to make sure it had sufficient funds. At one point, she had three paychecks yet to be cashed.
The bartender had nothing but praise for Sultan Abbas, general manager of Canyon 66, who quit on Monday. He even took money out of his own pocket to pay employees, Dollarhide said.
“I’ve been there since day one. We’ve seen so many managers come through there. Then Sultan took over and bent over backwards for us and took care of us,” she said.
Abbas said the owners fell behind on certain payments, which unfortunately put the business behind on payroll, and they were trying to catch up over the past few months.
“But sadly employees couldn’t handle the delay of the payroll anymore, which is their right, which left me with no plan or tools to work with and caused the majority of us to just give up,” he said in an email.
Abbas is considering leasing the restaurant from the owners and running it under a new financial operation.
Canyon 66 was picking up favorable reviews after being renovated in 2014 as “Kingman’s newest hot spot” on social media such as Yelp and Trip Advisor.
“Nice location, good food in restaurant and accommodating staff,” one guest wrote.
“Attentive and wonderful service and tasty breakfast,” another said.
The lounge features a full-circle bar surrounded by 15 flat-screen TVs, and a 90-inch TV that’s popular for viewing major sporting events.
When it first opened, Canyon 66 came alive on weekends with a DJ playing dance music from a booth cut out of a 1946 Ford pickup. A retro mirror ball hung over a small dance floor.
Abbas wanted to express thanks to all of his employees.
“I hate to see this property going this way,” Abbas said. “We as employees have poured our hearts into it in the past three years to see it successful and place for fun, the way it was up ‘til (Monday).”
He’s asking customers to “keep your prayers to get the wheel back to run again.”
Meanwhile, Dollarhide said she’s willing to meet with Joel Zubaid on Friday.
“I hope all of us employees get paid for what we worked for, for five weeks,” she said.