I just can't believe it! So, many longtime businesses are closing in Lake Charles. One thing is for sure, it's been a rough couple of months for local restaurants and businesses in SWLA. In September, Taco Mel Taqueria closed its doors at its Moss Bluff location at Parkway Village Shopping Center.

Customers were stunned, as one by one they arrived to eat at the popular Mexican restaurant only to discover it was closed permanently. There was some good news that came later. First Taco Mel's Country Club location remained open and hired additional workers. Second, a new and even bigger restaurant with Mexican cuisine is said to be replacing the local taco joint at that same location.

The very next month, three more local businesses closed their doors! On October 3, I went to Kentucky Fried Chicken and found a sign on the drive-thru speaker! I remember thinking how crazy it was that there was no warning or advertisement. Nothing. Even worse, while leaving the parking lot, I saw a working walking in a KFC uniform walking in that direction. I hope

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October, 23, O'Charleys Restaurant & Bar closed 50 locations across the country, including the  Lake Charles restaurant. Many employees told local news channels the restaurant chain gave them little to no warning about the closures.

According to KPLC TV, O’Charley’s CEO, W. Craig Barber, blamed the closures on inflation. Issuing a formal statement Barber said,

"Like many brands in the casual dining space, we have faced unprecedented disruptions to our business over the last few years. Based on a variety of these industry challenges and the current macro-economic environment, we closed this O’Charley’s location as of October 23."

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The same day, another local business closed. This was done quietly as far as local coverage, and that is why many people are just finding out. However, they did notify customers on the glass of their bakery and via Facebook a few days ahead that they were closing.

Sweet Treats, the makers of those incredible chocolate chip and English Tea Cakes cookies are now closed. It's not clear if they are closed and opening at a new location or never coming back. I truly hope that they are just relocating. But for now, the beloved bakery and sweet shop is no longer open.

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I am sad to see them all go. I hope times get better soon so that can all get back on their feet and one day reopen those restaurants and bakery shops in Lake Charles. We thank them for their great food and memories and are so sorry to see them go.

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