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By Elena Kadvany

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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Chevy's Mountain View shutters

Uploaded: Sep 22, 2015
The longtime Mountain View outpost of restaurant chain Chevy's Fresh Mex at 2116 El Camino Real closed in late August.

A voicemail message on the restaurant's phone number confirms the closure.

"We have been fortunate enough to do business in Mountain View since 1995 and we, too, will miss the restaurant," the message says, ending with a pitch to visit the nearest Chevy's in Blossom Hill. There are no other Chevy's left on the Peninsula.

Jared Dougherty, senior vice president of marketing at Real Mex Restaurants, Chevy's parent company, wrote in an email on Sept. 23 that the "property owner had other plans for the site and unfortunately we were unable to secure a long-term lease agreement."

Dougherty said the company was able to relocate any interested employees at other Chevy's in the area.

The Redwood City Chevy's closed in 2012, the year after Real Mex Restaurants filed for bankruptcy. The company released a statement at the time that said Chevy's was "restructuring" but "NOT going away."

The last San Francisco location shuttered in March. A Sacramento outpost also closed in July after 15 years.

Remaining Bay Area locations are in Blossom Hill, Union City, South San Francisco, San Ramon and Emeryville, according to the company's website.

Comments

 +   5 people like this
Posted by Joey, a resident of Martens-Carmelita,
on Sep 22, 2015 at 3:44 pm

Time to mow it down and build some high density apartments.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by charles reilly, a resident of another community,
on Sep 22, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Thanks for posting, Elena. Chevy's always seemed like a good place for sit-down Mexican lunch and dinners. fun for groups, decent food quality and the service was usually fast. Not the Ritz Carlton, but OK.

They just couldn't make any money .... Oh, and strong Margaritas ! Really strong ...


 +   2 people like this
Posted by charles reilly, a resident of another community,
on Sep 22, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Thanks for posting, Elena. Chevy's always seemed like a good place for sit-down Mexican lunch and dinners. fun for groups, decent food quality and the service was usually fast. Not the Ritz Carlton, but OK.

They just couldn't make any money .... Oh, and strong Margaritas ! Really strong ...


 +   3 people like this
Posted by NoSombrero, a resident of North Whisman,
on Sep 22, 2015 at 8:47 pm

Maybe the free birthday sombreros did them in. I collected about 8 of them over the years but sold them all at a yard sale.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Mike Keenly, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on Sep 23, 2015 at 12:14 am

Chevy's food was good quality, consistent, and reasonably priced. I'll miss their fresh chips & salsa, and tasty margaritas.

When the Redwood City location closed, we migrated to the Mountain View restaurant. Unfortunately, it's not worth the drive to south San Jose.

Can anyone recommend a place on the Peninsula as a reasonable alternative (don't get me started on Mama Coco)?


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Sep 23, 2015 at 8:03 am

Mike,

Have you tried any of the mom-and-pop (independently owned) taquerias? There are a boatload of them in Redwood City.

El Grullense Grill (768 Woodside Road) is a good restaurant. The best fish tacos (far better than anything off of Chevy's menu) can be found at Sancho's Taqueria (3205 Oak Knoll Drive). They have a Palo Alto store on Lytton Avenue that is decent, but the RC store is better.

I'm not keen on chain Mexican restaurants since we have a bounty of independently owned restaurants that blow doors on the chains. It's also nice to be able to support local business.

El Grullense sounds like a local chain, but the stores are individually owned and operated. There's another local chain worth mentioning: Celia's. Celia's has locations in Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and two stores in San Mateo.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Sep 23, 2015 at 11:08 am

Thanks Elena for bringing us some information about the Chevy's closure. This doesn't bode well for any restaurant on El Camino from Mountain View to Redwood City.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mike Keenly, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on Sep 23, 2015 at 11:27 am

@Reader, thanks for your suggestions.

In general, I'm not a fan of chain restaurants, but Chevy's was good quality and consistent.

We really like Rincon Sabroso in Mountain View, but sometimes we want to go to a place with a somewhat more formal atmosphere.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Out of the area, a resident of another community,
on Sep 23, 2015 at 11:40 am

We liked Quinto Sol in Redwood City.
Could not say the same on Celia's.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Sep 23, 2015 at 11:44 am

Mike,

I used to live in Redwood City myself, today I live in Mountain View, so I'm a bit more familiar with our local restaurants. But since you're in Allied Arts/Menlo Park, I don't see why you don't explore Redwood City more, it's right next door to you.

Downtown RC has enjoyed a recent renaissance, and I suspect there are some more "formal" Mexican restaurants in the business district that weren't there a few years ago. During my Redwood City days, there were mostly no-frills taquerias, albeit some quite excellent.

While I rarely end up a Celia's, it's a perfectly fine replacement for a Chevy's. Celia's has enjoyed a longtime presence in several Bay Area communities.

Anyhow, good luck finding your next favorite Mexican restaurant!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown,
on Sep 23, 2015 at 10:48 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

I wasn't a fan of Chevy's, but I will be sad to see them go. We know some people who really liked it.

I really wish that there was a good, authentic Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant in the area. I suppose that some of the area restaurants are "authentic," but from an entirely different part of Mexico than what I am used to.

I do get to enjoy some good food when I travel to Mexico and Texas, but the types of Mexican restaurants in the Bay Area are very foreign and exotic to me.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Water, a resident of another community,
on Sep 26, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Water is a registered user.

Mike - How about La Viga in Redwood City and Cafe Del Sol across from Su Hong to Go? La Viga has a more seafood-centric, upscale sister restaurant, too. There's also Milagros, can be fun, and I've actually had some good meals there. La Fiesta on Villa, south of downtown Mt. View is an old fave. Vive Sol in MV is good, but gets crowded. For drive-thru, take home fare, try El Jarocho in East Palo Alto, at Univ. Ave and Bay Road, across the street from McDonald's. La Cazuela further down Bay is also tasty. You can get it to go, sit indoors or out.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by no soul!, a resident of another community,
on Sep 26, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Quinto Sol?

Shhhhhhh.

It's awful. Don't go there. Don't tell anyone about it. The first rule of Sol is we don't tell anyone about Sol.

;)

Been there 4 times. Honestly, always have the same thing, so I don't really know about the rest of the menu. The pork medallions, loaded up with chiles and sauce... dayum! Comparing that dish to anything at chevy's is criminal.

Chevy's was a great place to take the brood, cement floors you couldn't hurt, and the tortilla machine back in the day was great.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Local, a resident of Barron Park,
on Sep 28, 2015 at 9:05 am

We like Estrellita's a lot. They have some items you can't get anywhere else and the food is wonderful. (They have really unpredictable crowds - sometimes swamped sometimes not, so please be a little kind to the wait staff who are usually great but sometimes overstretched.) I usually order the specials.

I did enjoy Chevys for different reasons, it was like good fast food. Loved their salsa, But there are now so many fast food options, like Veggie Grill. We'll miss Chevys though. Good memories of taking the kids there.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Mike Keenly, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on Sep 28, 2015 at 9:41 am

Thanks for all of the good suggestions. I'm already a fan of Cafe Del Sol in Menlo Park as well as Palo Alto Sol on Cal Ave. Looks like we'll have lots of other places to try! :)


 +   9 people like this
Posted by TimH, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Sep 28, 2015 at 11:14 am

This article is primarily reporting about Chevy's in MV, but more comments are recalling the Fair Oaks/RWC location. Chevy's was good, not great, but offered a comfortable and inviting place to meet up with friends or go as a family. You didn't need to make a "plan" for Friday or weekend, just "how about Chevy's?" and we were off. People have become foodies in recent years and sometimes can forget how valuable a familiar, consistent & untrendy place can fit the need. I might be a global traveler, but food discoveries are not what I seek. Local places like Su Hong, Fish Market and Chevy's are nice to have around.



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