Carefree Station Shutters: Owners Explain Poor Building Conditions and Problems with Landlord in Passionate Letter to Friends

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for closedforbusiness250.jpg
On Saturday, September 28, Carefree Station, the nine-year-old Southwestern restaurant located in Carefree's Spanish Village, closed for the weekend citing "unforeseen circumstances beyond our control" via their Facebook page.

By last Wednesday, Carefree Station still had not opened its doors. A representative for the restaurant, owned by Robert and Linda Gabrick, said the reason was a dispute with the building's landlord and that the Gabricks currently were "trying to deal with that situation so they can come to some resolution."

It seems they have.

See also: September Restaurant Openings and Closings in Metro Phoenix

On Saturday, October 5, the Gabricks sent out a passionate and lengthy e-mail addressed to their "Carefree friends" (you can view it after the jump in its entirety). In it, they concede that Carefree Station has shuttered. They also address three specific rumors regarding their relationship with the building's landlord, rent payments, and money owed.

On the condition of the building, the Gabricks had this to say:

"The buildings had many problems. Many times sewage backed up into the bar, feces and toilet paper (it was our lowest point), and we mopped it up and sanitized. Often there was a strong sewage smell in the restaurant, we burned incense. When stucco fell off the outside walls we built plant shelves to hide it. When it rained, the lights in the garden would short out leaving the garden dark, we worked around it."

On the rationale for the lockout, the Gabricks' letter outlines a possible scenario having to do with the landlord discovering they had signed a lease for Scottsdale Station -- what would have been the couple's third "Station" restaurant (not yet open) on Hayden Road and Via de Ventura (the Gabricks currently own Prescott Station):

"The rumor was that our landlord got wind of the third restaurant, thought we would close Carefree Station in the middle of the night and take everything in the restaurant with us. That apparently became the landlords reasoning to hire a private security company to lock us out. I cannot speak for our ex landlord, I can only speak for Linda and myself. It NEVER entered our minds to consider doing that."

And finally, on the aftermath, the Gabricks' letter sums it up like this:

"The current owners paid $1.3 million for the property, the lease they wanted us to sign had us taking responsibility for $800k. They locked us out and took possession of inventories of food, liquor, wine, and beer. They took possession of it all. I guess they got a pretty good deal."

Here's the Gabricks' letter in full:

Location Info



Carefree Station Grill & Bar - CLOSED

7212 Ho Hum Road, Carefree, AZ

Category: Music

My Voice Nation Help

I wish New Times would speak to some of the employees that showed up for work only to find themselves locked out with no phone call, no explanation, and no idea if they were going to have a job anytime soon.  It is a shame that Carefree Station closed.  I loved the food and the staff was amazing.  It is more of a shame that Robert and Linda did not have the common courtesy to ensure that every staff member was informed every step of the way.  I am appalled that business owners would leave the people that made Carefree Station what it was out in the cold.  I have personally been there when one of the famous sewage back-ups had occurred.  Did the building need repair? Yes.  Should the owners have fixed things?  Yes.  Again, it is a shame that this happened, whatever the reasons.  The fact remains, the staff was not informed and most did not know what was going to happen to their livelihood.  These are real people with families, mortgages, rent, bills, and need to make a living.  Good luck in your future, Scottsdale Station.  I will personally never step foot in any business that would do that to the people that made them a success.  


When do we get to hear the other side of the story so that we can decide for ourselves whether or not there was any due negligence on the owners and be able to hold those accountable who should be using truth derived from facts from both sides ??


Best of luck to you. Getting to know you briefly last year, it was clear that you were both working under a lot of stress.


As the leading liberal democrat in my neighborhood, I totally understand how this is all the fault of somebody other than the restaurant owners.


Ridiculous that landlords can lock you out on your Cost of Goods and equipment.....the law needs to protect renters and landlords equally, not lean heavily to landlords.


@ofcourseitis Did the article mention anything about their entire staff and how they have been affected ... hmmmm guess it must just be all about them and their struggles ---- gross


@samrocksc two sides to every story ---- can't make a sound judgment only hearing a very biased side.

Now Trending

Around The Web

From the Vault