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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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Mountain View's Fiesta del Mar to close

Uploaded: Sep 16, 2015
After 24 years, four landlords and generations of customers, local favorite Fiesta del Mar on Shoreline Boulevard in Mountain View is closing its doors next weekend.

Owner Susan Garcia said Wednesday that the property at 1005 N. Shoreline Blvd., just off Highway 101, has been purchased by a developer and is scheduled for demolition.

This, actually, has been a long time coming. In 2007, a developer bought the property with plans to raze it and build office space. Fiesta del Mar was told to be out in two years, but "then the economy tanked," Garcia said.

The property went back to the original owners and Fiesta del Mar to a month-to-month lease, which it has remained on since 2007, Garcia said. The latest landlord had indicated to them that they would need to move out eventually, but kept moving the date.

"It's been a hard time for us knowing it was coming but kind of getting the stay of execution, if you will," Garcia said.

In 2012, the impending news came again: Their landlord said the restaurant would need to move out within six months. So Garcia and her husband Alexandro found a location in downtown Mountain View and opened Agave Mexican Bistro, planning to move Fiesta del Mar into a banquet room there within about a year. They also operate Fiesta del Mar Too on Villa Street in Mountain View, which opened in 1995, and opened Blue Agave Club in Pleasanton in 1997. The Garcia family is behind the longtime La Fiesta Restaurant at 240 Villa St.

Now that the Shoreline Boulevard redevelopment is indeed happening, Fiesta del Mar will go to Agave as planned years ago. Garcia said they'll decorate the banquet room with Fiesta del Mar memorabilia, and the most popular menu items from Fiesta del Mar will be available at Agave (both in the banquet room and elsewhere).

Garcia said she's been able to retain some Fiesta del Mar staff, including manager Jorge Cervantes, but not all.

The last day of business at the Shoreline location, which opened in 1991, will be Saturday, Sept. 26. It will be business as usual, plus some promotions and a band, Garcia said. The new banquet room will open on Oct. 7.

Tomorrow, Sept. 17, is Fiesta del Mar's 24th anniversary. Garcia said it feels bittersweet.

"This is our first; this is our baby; this is the one that started it all so ? it's tough," she said. "We've already had customers come in crying."

Fiesta del Mar has been a consistent presence in the Mountain View Voice's annual Best Of contest, winning best Mexican food year after year (including this year). When the news broke in 2007 that the restaurant might close, the Mountain View Voice "received e-mails from many customers saddened by the possibility of losing the restaurant, including one from Belgium and another from Benicia," a 2007 article reads.

Comments

 +   8 people like this
Posted by Margarita on the rocks, a resident of another community,
on Sep 16, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Noooo! What is happening in this town?? Fiesta del Mar is great. Been going there for almost 20 years. Delicious quality food at an affordable price. Great to know it may live on at Agave Mexican Bistro.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by NW Resident, a resident of North Whisman,
on Sep 16, 2015 at 2:18 pm

I'm sad to see this happen, but not too suprised. Over the years I've actually preferred the downtown location, Fiesta del Mar Too managed by Gabriel Cervantes. Roberto, who used to work there, opened his own cantina on Murphy Avenue in downtown Sunnyvale that I have visited twice.

The article talks about the opening of Agave at Castro & Villa and says "They also later opened Fiesta del Mar Too on Villa Street in Mountain View and Blue Agave Club in Pleasanton." Didn't those latter 2 locations actually pre-date Agave's location, which used to be a Thai restaurant? I think there's a reporting error there, but I'll be sure to support the surviving locations.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Elena Kadvany, education reporter of the Palo Alto Weekly,
on Sep 16, 2015 at 2:23 pm

Elena Kadvany is a registered user.

NW Resident: You're correct that Fiesta del Mar Too and Blue Agave Club opened before Agave Mexican Bistro. My mistake! Thank you for catching that.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Zantec, a resident of North Whisman,
on Sep 16, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Pretty soon all of the old buildings on the El Camino will be bulldozed and resurrected into high density housing and office space. It's inevitable.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Lightsout, a resident of Stierlin Estates,
on Sep 16, 2015 at 3:46 pm

This is sad. I love the place, and the employees there. It felt like home to me. The food was delicious and it sucks that this restaurant is now closing. Breaks my heart. We already have enough development in Mountain View, why the hell do we need more office buildings?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Joan, a resident of Bailey Park,
on Sep 16, 2015 at 4:27 pm

Please put the Shrimps Ajillo, fajitas, chips, and salsa on the Agave menu! Please!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Sep 16, 2015 at 9:04 pm

USA is a registered user.

Noooooo. That is my go-to lunch place.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Alice, a resident of another community,
on Sep 17, 2015 at 6:47 am

Our favorite hang out in Mountain View is closing! All those Margaritas and bean cheese sour cream burritos I had almost every Friday when living there! Gary's street tacos! Brent's coke n rum! Cheri and Brent grabbing their drunkin chicken fajitas! And all of us laughing as Charlie circled the building wanting to join!

Currently we moved from Mountain View to Colorado, but this was our # 1 Go to dinner on Friday Nights after the Auctions at Ellison's Towing! You will be totally missed by a lot of us! The servers all four in the picture have been "Wonderful" through out the years, and hope they will transfer over to the other 2 restaurants they have in town!

I remember the love they gave me for my "Birthday" in April 2011, when my husband was on a business trip! These guys are our favorite servers we have ever met! Best wishes for all!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jean Mockler, a resident of Mayfield,
on Sep 17, 2015 at 11:41 am

This has been my neighborhood watering hole since it opened. I now live most of the year in Mexico, so get lots of excellent Mexican food, but still come "home" to Fiesta del Mar whenever I'm there. Will miss it and the friendly familiar staff!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Carla Murray Kenworthy, a resident of St. Francis Acres,
on Sep 17, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Aw, maan...love that place! I know the "spirit" of the first Fiesta del Mar will remain at Agave...but it won't be the same. I remember when that Shoreline location was a breakfast joint, then we were blown away by the good food when it became Fiesta del Mar. Good fortune is helping Mountain View get all slicked up, but losing this long-time friend makes me sad.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Mel, a resident of Castro City,
on Sep 17, 2015 at 2:54 pm

So sad to see Fiesta closing. This has been my favorite local place for over 20 years. Jorge and I laugh about "growing up together"! I'm glad he's staying at Agave, but I'm sad to see Fiesta go. First the Boardwalk on El Camino, and now this. Mountain View is losing some of it's charms.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Deborah, a resident of another community,
on Sep 17, 2015 at 2:54 pm

I've been wondering about Fiesta del Mar since the sign appeared for a giant office development replacing the house and the small business building just down Shoreline towards the freeway. That corner will be transformed soon. I wonder what will happen to the housing and industrial area south of Shoreline after two giant buildings go in. Here's hoping they have some ground-floor retail space for local businesses rather than yet another Starbucks and Subway.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Kara , a resident of another community,
on Sep 17, 2015 at 8:50 pm

We will truly miss it. Great place to eat outdoors and take kids. The staff was friendly, and I appreciated the irony of eating great Mexican food across the street from Taco Bell.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Scarlet, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Sep 18, 2015 at 11:24 pm

I am SO SAD to hear this is happening. For years I knew it was a possibility but I was hoping it would never happen. Decades of memories will be bulldozed. Scrumptious food, great guys who work there, lines out the door -- this is a travesty. Thank you Fiesta del Mar for being a huge part of my life for decades, I'm sure going to miss you...


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Sep 19, 2015 at 8:36 am

Max Hauser is a registered user.

It looks as if some readers and FDM fans don't realize how extensive (even locally) is the successful restaurant group of which Fiesta del Mar is just one outpost.

The second FDM (Fiesta del Mar Too) has long thrived downtown off Castro St. and wins MV-Voice "Best Restaurant" awards in the Mexican category. Agave Grill has now been open a few years, and has been strong in unusual, regional Mexican specialties (often with challenging pre-Columbian Nahuatl names). Vive Sol (with its popular menu, sort of a sampler from the other places) is a few blocks away on El Camino. Other restaurants too are in the group, farther afield.

On Villa not far from Castro is the parent restaurant of them all, La Fiesta, with its marvelous full-lavored house specials and seafood creations (all featuring the play of various specialty sweet-pepper species) that I wish more diners would explore (rather than just ordering there the same tostadas or enchiladas they do at all Mexican restaurants -- "we keep that stuff on the menu" to serve such demand [I was told], but they aren't really what La Fiesta is all about).


 +  Like this comment
Posted by mr niceo, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on Sep 19, 2015 at 2:10 pm

blah blah


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Scarlet, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Sep 19, 2015 at 11:10 pm

Max what you're saying may be true food-wise, but atmosphere-wise I disagree. I've eaten at all of the places you mentioned, but there's still nothing like the patio at Fiesta del Mar on Shoreline with the sunset views. Plus the memories. I've been to Fiesta del Mar hundreds of times over the years, and each time builds layers of memories that can't ever be replaced. I'm really going to miss the place...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by my sis, a resident of another community,
on Sep 20, 2015 at 1:18 am

...lived in mv for several years. 'Come visit me and we'll go to Fiesta del Mar.' As soon as we'd walk in, smiles all around and everyone there knew her and loved her. I'll miss the smiles, the place, the salsas, drinks, dinners on Cinco de Mayo or Friday nights, here's to you sis, jorge et al, fdm : )


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Sep 21, 2015 at 1:28 am

We won't miss the rude service and several cases of food poisoning we experienced through the years. Buh-bye!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Theresa, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Sep 21, 2015 at 5:02 pm

My kids and I discovered Fiesta Del Mar on Shoreline shortly after they opened. Their piano teacher was a few blocks away, and sometimes we grabbed dinner there following the lessons. They were in elementary school then. We lived in Japan for a few years, but every trip to the Bay Area featured a meal at Fiesta Del Mar.

Both kids are now gainfully-employed college graduates, but we continue to visit the restaurant and chat with Jorge. I'm glad he will be with Agave, but the ease of getting to the Shoreline location, plus the nice big parking lot, was so convenient. We've seen this coming for years, though.

Best wishes to Jorge and his crew for continued success. And for Camarones Ardientes and those amazing margaritas!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Menu?, a resident of Atherton: other,
on Sep 22, 2015 at 10:06 am

Loved this place, but would be a better article if it commented on whether the Fiesta del Mar menu is available at these other locations owned by the same people. Thanks.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Sep 22, 2015 at 10:51 am

The article states that some of the Fiesta del Mar menu items will be added to the other locations. We'll have to see which ones.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jozie, a resident of Mountain View,
on Sep 23, 2015 at 11:51 am

I'm very sorry to see this place go, as there are few good restaurant choices in this area of Mtn. View, and now, one less.

I'm glad they'll be downtown, but that area has more than enough eateries.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Charlotte Skinner, a resident of another community,
on Sep 25, 2015 at 2:54 pm

I was there when they first opened Fiesta Del Mar and have continued to visit each time I am in the area. I am sure moving downtown will not deter me from those visits. There is a parking garage right behind Agave and I will take advantage of that, and look forward to the new atmosphere.



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