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Paso Robles restaurant still waiting for this year's fair crowds

Margie's Diner hasn't seen the boost in customers that the Mid-State Fair usually brings.
Margie's Diner Paso Robles 7-22-21.PNG
Posted at 3:11 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 22:38:20-04

Margie's Diner, a family-style restaurant in Paso Robles, is around the corner from the Paso Robles Event Center. That puts it within easy walking distance of the California Mid-State Fair.

But Margie's co-owner Javier Soto isn't seeing the foot traffic that he would prefer.

"Compared to 2019," Soto said, "this is nothing to compare. By this time we'd have full capacity."

He said this year is slow.

The fair's opening grandstand concert, set to feature Bret Michaels, was canceled. That affected Margie's, too.

Soto says that when the concert was called off, people canceled their reservations at the Black Oak Hotel, which is next door to Margie's.

Another factor? The restaurant closes at 3 p.m. every day, and the fair gates open at 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Looking ahead, Soto expects business to pick up on the weekends, when the fair opens at noon.