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Petalumans sound off over possible future closure of Cattlemens

“Cattlemens was my first job, also my older brother’s first job back in the ’70s. It’s such a part of old Petaluma. It would be sad to see it go.”|

The future of Cattlemens may be uncertain, but one thing known for sure is that the classic steakhouse stirs strong emotions in Petalumans.

That’s clear from online reactions to a recent report that an application has been filed with the city to tear down the Cattlemens restaurant at 5012 Petaluma Blvd. N. and replace it with a Chick-fil-A.

City planners said the application process is still in its beginning stages and that there is no immediate timeline for such a project to go forward. And a Cattlemens representative said, “We don't have any plans to close and look forward to continuing to serve the Petaluma community as we have for the last 52 years.”

Even so, many locals were quick to condemn any change to the restaurant’s status quo, now or ever. “Cattlemens is historic. Nothing will replace that iconic restaurant,” said a reader on the Argus-Courier’s Facebook page, echoing the sentiment of many others.

A Friday Facebook post about the project application garnered thousands of views and hundreds of comments, most of them decrying the proposal.

“Don't get me wrong, I like me some Chick-fil-A,” one person wrote, “but I would rather they put it by Friedman’s and leave Cattlemens alone. This city is losing its soul.”

A few posters harked back their own experiences working at the restaurant, which opened in the early 1970s.

“The original place where you had to work your way from dishwasher to food server,” noted one former employee, who said Cattlemens “Took care of me when playing sports in college and when (I) needed fill-in shifts for extra money. Some of my best memories come from that Cattlemens and I hope ownership finds a way to keep it there.”

“I was a single mom with zero child support while working there. It was a godsend for my oldest daughter and I.”

“Cattlemens was my first job, also my older brother’s first job back in the ’70s. It’s such a part of old Petaluma. It would be sad to see it go.”

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