Group holding auction for Red Rooster equipment, furniture today

TRACY — No one knows for sure when the Red Rooster Restaurant in Tracy moved to its current location along U.S. Highway 14, but area residents will not likely forget December 2015 when it closed.

“We were never able to pin down a specific date when it opened there,” Mark Seager said. “It was sometime in the mid to late ’50s, but no one knows for sure.

“The closing, though, was somewhat of a surprise to the community,” he said. “There was no build-up of scuttlebutt to it. When we did a walk-through of the building at its closing, it looked as if the previous owners just up and walked away.”

At the time it closed, the owners, Robert and Donna Caron of Tracy, cited numerous reasons for the restaurant’s closing such as economic issues stemming from the 2008 recession, a recent major road construction on the highway, and the overall cost of running a restaurant, including the cost of food and insurance.

Seager and other members of the newly formed nonprofit Tracy Development Corporation have taken on the challenge of preparing the property to be “shovel-ready” for the next enterprise that comes along.

Today, the month-old nonprofit corporation is hosting an auction of all the interior items prior to demolishing the building. The sale is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Corporation member Dennis Fultz named additional items to those on the auction bill. In addition to booths, tables, chairs, coat racks, a cash register and a pie case, there will be some kitchen equipment.

“There are stainless steel counters, a deep fat fryer, a dishwasher and a vent hood for the stove,” Fultz said. “There’s even an old, almost antique safe and Red Rooster memorabilia, like T-shirts, cups and plates.”

The biggest unknown in the demolition of the restaurant will be the parts left over from the gas station portion that had closed a few years prior to the restaurant side of the business.

“We will remove the underground fuel storage tanks and the fuel distribution system,” Fultz said. “There’s a certain element of the unknown in this venture that we as a group have taken on.”

However, there are some features that a prospective business owner may like.

“The property has 300 feet of Highway 14 frontage on 2-1/2 acres of land,” Fultz said. “There is an existing pole shed type storage structure that’s only five or six years old. It’s partially upgraded with cement floors and an office area.”

The new Tracy Development Corporation is hoping somebody will step forward to construct a retail or service business on the property, which would add to the tax base and create new jobs for the community.

Other members of the new non-profit Tracy Development Corporation include Dean Salmon, Jeff Salmon and Jim Keul.