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A mainstay business in downtown Carlsbad since 1947, El Corral Pottery, is closing its doors.

Located at 340 Carlsbad Boulevard (Coast Highway), the location is the last independent seller in Southern California of the colorful Fiesta Dinnerware, created in the '30s. The store also sold, and displayed outside, large bubbling fountains, concrete lawn ornaments, and clay and glazed pottery.

Dan Soto, 62, has been the owner since 1972. He was first employed at the shop in 1965. He says it’s time to close for several reasons; the economy is one, but he quickly points out that he’s had 42 successful years.

His health is another reason. He had a health challenge a year and a half ago and doesn’t want to wait for the next one. He said he wants to enjoy time with his grandson.

He decided over Christmas it was time. He put up a “Going out of Business “ sign on December 26, reduced prices by 50 percent, and sold half of his inventory between the 26th and the 31st. He thinks everything will be gone by this Saturday, January 11.

Soto has been able to stay in business — competing with chain stores such as Macy’s and Kohl’s on the dinnerware, and home centers on the pottery — because he owned the land. The large parcel has already been sold.

“I was born and raised in Carlsbad. I’m not going anywhere,” said Soto. He’s looking forward to waking up every morning and getting to decide what to do.

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