DALY CITY, Calif. (KTVU/BCN) - It’s the end of an era for one of the Bay Area’s oldest restaurants. Estrada’s Mexican Kitchen in San Mateo County near Daly City will be closing its doors after 102 years.
Sunday was supposed to be the last day but the restaurant was flooded with calls from customers so the owners have decided it will be open a little longer before it's turned into an Indian restaurant next month.
Long-time customers from all over the Bay Area are visiting Peninsula landmark Estrada’s one last time before it closes.
“It’s very sad that businesses of this caliber can't stay open,” said Joseph Jolly of San Jose.
Since 1917, Estrada's has been on Mission Street serving up Mexican and Caribbean cuisine. It’s most famous for its sizzling tostada salad. The century-old restaurant was featured on the Food Network.
“I don't know what they put in it but it's delicious, let's put it that way,” said Donald D’Angelo of Sunnyvale.
D’Angelo visited its flagship location in Visalia and has been hooked on Estrada’s ever since. This location is the last one standing.
“People don't realize what it takes to run a place like this,” said Owner Bernadette Aggen. “I mopped the floors. I swept and I cleaned the bathrooms.”
Aggen and Julio Mercedes have owned the family-style restaurant the past 12 years. They are worn out and ready to retire. Aggen also said they are struggling to keep the business afloat with the new minimum wage increase and rising rents.
“There’s a cost of living problem,” said Aggen. “We are going to sell and we are going to move somewhere else because we can't afford to live here.”
“California has a fundamental problem and the problem is it's becoming a place for those who are very rich and those who are very poor,” said San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa. “That model of sustainability cannot exist.”
New Owner Babar Hamirani owns Fog City Lodge and Nightclub a few blocks away. He plans to transform Estrada's into a late-night Indian Supper Club complete with belly dancers and an outdoor Tiki bar.
“What we are going to be doing is basically having Indian Pakistani cuisine,” said Hamirani. “We will also be putting on shows, musicians and stuff like that.”
Hamirani said it's time to bring something new to the city and is optimistic his business model will work.
“We have a lot of interest,” said Hamirani. “People are aware are what we are looking to do. People are excited including city members. They believe it's time for this place to change a little bit.”
The new owner said he will have a staff of 20. He’s hoping to keep all the Estrada's employees. He plans to have a grand opening party in April. Estrada's plans to stop serving at the end of the month.