Ruby's Cafe in Madera shuts down for good

MADERA, Calif.

The Madera City Council made its decision unanimously Wednesday. Last month, the police department gave council members this report, claiming the owner of ruby's café served alcohol without a license, and has allowed prostitutes to work inside the restaurant.

Robert Salas said, "We did observe a mattress in a room just adjacent to the eating area that we believe was being used for the acts of prostitution."

Investigators also say, in October, a man was beaten in a nearby alley after drinking at Ruby's. He died just days later.

Ruby's has been operating on C Street since 2002. The owner left Wednesday's meeting without talking to reporters. But, two weeks ago, she told Action News the criminal activity happened outside the restaurant and was out of her control. She also said she needed the business to help support her family.

Ruby Pineda said, "I have two boys in El Salvador and I help my son."

A lawyer representing the owner spoke on her behalf before the council. He said, she was willing to do anything to save the cafe.

Cristobal Perez said, "You know, they didn't want to give my client a chance to correct the situation by having security guards that would make sure alcohol wasn't sold and that incidents would not occur."

But, Police Chief Michael Kime says the criminal complaints grew to be far too many. He says the closure is necessary for the overall safety of the area.

Michael Kime said, "We try to be cognizant of these kinds of activities and when it comes to seeing it on our radar, we're going to take the appropriate steps to increase the quality of life for our citizens."

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