Posted by Greg K, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 7:38 am
"Too Much Traffic" is correct. There are too many jobs and employers along El Camino Real. The easiest way to solve the traffic problem is to lay off people. If they don't have a job to go to, then they will stay off the streets.
Posted by Pat Markevitch, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 10:28 am
My favorite mexican restaurant in Palo Alto is Casa Isabel. They are a small family owned place located on Park Blvd. 1/2 block south of California. I have been going there for 26 years and I have never had a bad meal there. The quality of the food is wonderful.
Posted by Sad, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 10:41 am
Oh, this is a bummer. We go to Compadres once a week. Best mexican food around. In fact, we ate dinner there on Sunday night. Little did I know it would be our last dinner there. This is not good. I'm sad to see it go.
Posted by PA Restaurant Owner, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:13 am
Compadres not only served quality food and margaritas, it was also a big supporter of neighborhood community events. They will be sorely missed. As others have pointed out, the family owners and scores of Compadres employees are devastated by this closure. I'm shocked at how self-centered some of these traffic-related comments are. Show some compassion!
Posted by cliff black, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:54 am
I used to go to Casa Isabella, the last few times the service was slow. It seemed there were not enough servers. The one and only server would dissapear for 15-20 minutes at a time. The food has dropped off in quality, wet salad, watered down beans, small portions of meat! I don't like being ripped off, no more!
Posted by Glad I don't have these fools for neighbors, a resident of another community, on Sep 23, 2008 at 12:23 pm
Only a self-centered, navel-gazing, oh-so-liberal-until-someone- wants -to- move- into- their backyard Palo Altan would make the kinds of comments I see above. A good, solid, family-owned business that served good food with integrity and contributed hugely to the community closes--probably because of some sudden misfortune related to this terrible economy. And all some idiot can think of is that such a business created too many people and too much traffic along the El Camino!. At first I thought these comments were jokes or tongue-in-cheek. But in re-reading, I think this fool was serious.
I work in Palo Alto but live elsewhere --where we value the small businesses that contribute to our community and don't bash them by suggesting that oh, by the way, the food wasn't very good anyway.
Posted by Ernesto, a resident of another community, on Sep 23, 2008 at 12:31 pm
It's not easy to survive in the restaurant bussiness. To serve quality food, attract help dedicated to give good service, and make customers happy enough to come back is a tough balancing act. Just read one of Anthony Bourdain's books if you doubt it.
Perhaps the fools that rejoice when a good restaurant in their neighborhood closes because it keeps traffic of their street would also
applaud when a major natural catastrophy kills a few million people because it helps reduce overpopulation?
Posted by Thanks, Compadres!, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 1:24 pm
So sorry to see Compadres go - it was a fun restaurant, great patio, and really nice people who worked there. Hopefully their experience of working for a good chain like Compadres will help them with future employment.
As for the folks who write negative things on blogs like this, it's probably best to just ignore them - it's no use getting worked up over petty comments like that!
And thanks to Compadres for trying to make it work, and for supporting the community over the years - you will be sorely missed!
Posted by I hate Palo Alto, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 1:44 pm
I have traveled the world and Palo Altans are the rudest people I have EVEr met. Not to mention the worst drivers! I only hope your bubble will soon burst, and you will be struggling like the rest of us.
Posted by Mari, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm
Please come back, Compadres! Our family of 5 loves to go there and in addition to Sunday kidsĀ“ eat free, they were very welcoming for both the adult and kid crowds, not to mention being supportive of Stanford athletics. Also, we wish all the best for the employees who worked so hard and made it such a great place to be. Thank you for your hard work and care.
Posted by Sorry to see Compadres go!, a resident of the Evergreen Park neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 2:32 pm
Thanks for everything Compadres! We will truly miss your great service and wonderful atmosphere. Thank you for creating wonderful memories of eating dinner next to the fireplace on a cold rainy night. I've enjoyed cozy evenings, fun lunches and fun events at your establishment. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
The closing of Compadres is greater than whether or not your tastebuds like one place better than the other, or traffic for goodness sake. This is about a wonderful, family oriented business going under so abruptly that employees are now unemployed and confused. The lives of the individuals who depended upon this establishment to earn a living so that they can feed their families, as well as serving you, has now changed. Are you going to donate anything good, or just negative attitudes and comments. It always amazes me how shallow and self centered people can be.
I'm a Palo Alto native and I first learned the term "Shallow Alto" when I was 16 years old working Downtown. Needless to say, I quickly learned what that term meant. At 38 years old, it's amazing how ignorant and shallow people can still be.
There are some wonderful people in this community and I can only hope and pray that this community can continue to grow and improve as individuals and collectively for the sake of the next generation, our beautiful children.
Let's make the term "Shallow Alto" a thing of the past!
Posted by KF, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 2:59 pm
Bye Compadres, in addition to having a great Patio, supporting all local and school events, being super family friendly, Compadres has very friendly help. I really felt taken care of when I went there. I hope they can regroup and re open somehow.
I agree, people are rude in PA online. I almost never read the comments because people are so mean and poopy. I don't think it is because they are Palo Altans, I have lived here all my life, my sister lives here my dad lives here, my Mother anf Father=in=law live here, my sister and brother-in-law live here and they are all lovely, involved, sharing, kind people. In fact I have eaten with ALL of them at Compadres upon occasion.
It is just that many of the people who post here are rude and cruel. To them I say- don't waste any more precious moments of your life being bitter and negative. Being here and alive is a gift. Stop reading Palo alto online right now, go outside and look at the trees and the birds and the beautiful sky. Go do something that makes you feel good, walk, draw, write to a friend.
Posted by Lance W, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 3:01 pm
Compadres was my favorite restaurant, great atmosphere, and friendly to the community. Just Sunday they donated three large dishes of their delicious black bean casserole to Travis Brewer's memorial service at Paly (he was a sophomore there). I will miss this restaurant, as will others, and wish I had eaten there last week. Given the pressures to develop El Camino, what will replace Compadres' relaxing patio, fireplace, original decor, avocado relleno, and friendly service? Unlikely it will be something as good.
Posted by Andrew K., a resident of Mountain View, on Sep 23, 2008 at 3:38 pm
That's too bad. I loved the place. I remember a fall night in 1989 waiting there for a date. She was an hour late but she finally came. We had a nice dinner and went to dinner there, not bad for a first date.After that, we went to a movie in downtown PA When Harry Met Sally.
Posted by Perl, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 4:14 pm
Most of the homes here are $2mil+...we pay very high property taxes for what? There are no services... the libraries are old, there are no grocery stores, the community center is tiny compare to other cities, we travel to Mt View or Menlo park to go grocery shopping. The traffic-hating people dont want a grocery store so instead, we are seeing a bunch of expensive unattractive, crammed up condos and townhouses. We travel to Mt View library and Los Altos Library as well. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] The only reason we live here is because of the "good" schools for my kids. Our house is holding up its value, but I have been trying to convince my husband to get out of this place and move to Campbell where the city has a huge community center, huge shopping centers, lots of parks.
Posted by daniel, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 4:19 pm
maybe they were victims of the sudden credit crunch. However, there could be another explanation:until a couple of years ago, their food was tasty, inexpensive and the menu huge. The last couple of times I'd been there, the food was barely mediocre, the menu shrunk considerably, prices were significantly higher, the service indifferent and seemed to have decorated it for no reason into a tasteless yuppie decor that replaced the genuine Mexican feeling the place used to have. That could have been the case in all their restaurants and mediocre food combined with tacky decor and insufficient menu choices will destroy almost any restaurant.
Posted by Laurie, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 4:53 pm
I am also no longer a resident of this town and happy for it when I see comments about "too much traffic"...please! Compadres was a GREAT place to hang out, eat, enjoy the "outdoor seating" and the wonderful staff. I was always treated so well whether it was myself and a friend or myself and twenty friends.
I'll miss you Compadres, but I sure don't miss living in your town.
Posted by Joan a single mom, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 6:25 pm
Perl, do you rent you home from the county? I sure think I do. I had to struggle to own my home only to see the same greedy mouths come around and tell me I was not doing enough for the schools. Folks I pay a bucket and then some for my home only to get a tax bill from the county that keeps getting bigger and bigger.
It is time for people to get real about the cost of government. I say enough with all the high taxes.
Posted by margarita, a resident of the Green Acres neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:20 pm
We will miss you Compadres! When you received the Tall Tree award for best business in Palo Alto, our group, Community Skating, Inc. (The Winter Lodge) received the award for best non-profit organization. We we were all honored to be recognized along with such a great business. Thanks for allowing us to fill your patio with skaters and their families after our Saturday show each year. It was always a great party and your employees were very understanding. Where on earth will we go in 2009? The Winter Lodge wishes the best for your employees and their families.
Posted by KT, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:43 pm
I think the traffic comments were made jokingly, but apparently they were taken too literally. Do you all think that there is really a traffic problem in Palo Alto???? Are you kidding me? Try driving in NYC in rush hour traffic and you will quickly change your minds!!!
Unfortunately, I think that we are all going to be seeing more companies plummet in the next few years...we just need to support small business to keep them afloat before the big names come in and take everything!!
I live in Palo Alto and I hate that people think that we are egotistical, money hoarding, nice car driving snobs... I work hard for what I have, I am non-judgemental, fun-loving, and I really truely care about all people. Please, stop stereotyping Palo Altans because when you do are are just as bad as those who you are judging!!!!
Posted by D-Wat, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 24, 2008 at 11:07 am
Why do so many comment threads become about the "personality" of Palo Alto as a whole? ... There are elitists and a***oles everywhere you go. There is disparity in living almost everywhere you go. And not all elitists are a***oles and not all a***oles are elitists...
Oh, and not everyone in Palo Alto is necessarily an elitist OR an a***ole.
Many of the postings from people outside the Palo Alto community come from communities where there are people just as "despicable" as any resident of PA, and vice versa.
So stop being mad that God, or Fortune, or the Random Unfolding of Life has led to more favorable conditions for some and start taking steps towards attaining favorable conditions for yourself, instead of wasting time and energy berating those of us who have already taken those steps, or have had the privilege of being born into favorable conditions, or who have worked our asses off out of less desirable neighborhoods so we didnt have to look at the same s***ty flickering streetlamp every night, but could enjoy the tree filled skyline with stars above.
Everyone, for the most part, only has themselves to blame...
TRAFFIC: There will always be traffic on El Camino, get used to it, or get used to being ill-contented for the rest of your life.
COMPADRES: Good restaurant... has been around my entire time in Palo Alto, will be missed.
Posted by Kathy Tracy, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 24, 2008 at 11:31 am
What? Compadres in Palo Alto was such a fun and comfortable venue with
DELICIOUS drinks and mexicali fare. I'm so very disappointed and sad for the Onos family. It was always a sincere pleasure to chat with Scott Onos while enjoying one of his satisfying and fab margaritas. It was obvious by his welcoming smile and warmth, just how proud Scott was of his family's restaurants. WAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Posted by litebug, a resident of another community, on Sep 24, 2008 at 1:24 pm
The last meal we had with our grandchildren, before we moved from Palo Alto in August, was at Compadres. It makes me sad that I won't be able to go there when we visit. I loved that place, with its unique patio. I had patronized The Iron Works before Compadres. I love the old, historic building and hope it will be protected from the wrecker's ball, but I have little confidence that will be the case. The spot will probably be filled with ugly condos by the time we get back for a visit.
While we miss some individual places we do not miss Palo Alto, given the way it has developed in recent years. The people here (McMinnville, OR) are so much more friendly, in contrast to Palo Alto which had become more and more nasty, as well as crowded, and increasingly oriented to the rich. No place to shop, no family restaurants, rabbit warren housing developments popping up all over the place, more ugliness, less community feeling...you can have it! I was a booster for well over 20 years but the relationship soured and we've moved on, to a town more like Palo Alto used to be. It is such an improvement.
Posted by Credit Card Fraud, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 24, 2008 at 2:20 pm
Won't miss Compadres at all. One time we ate there my credit card was charged multiple times. The manager refused to acknowledge this nor would he sign for a certified letter. My credit card company refunded all the extra charges without any arguments but Compadres attitude was very disturbing.
Posted by Joey, a resident of another community, on Sep 24, 2008 at 3:31 pm
Compadres will be missed in California and Hawaii...a comfortable, fun, family environment with mucho gusto in its food and drink. It is another family business that has operated with integrity and civic responsibility in the communities it was in that has become a victim of this administration and its fiscal irresponsibility. It is all of our loss
Posted by John the Man, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 24, 2008 at 7:23 pm
If you want real, authentic Mexican food there are several of those restaurants in the immediate area.
Compadres is just another example of the McDonald's phenomena: just because a ton of people eat somewhere doesn't make the food any good. It was bland, pedestrian pseudo-Mexican food that white folk like to feel safe with. Because, gawd forbid, you go get authentic Mexican food where they don't speak English as the main lingo there.
Posted by John the Man, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 24, 2008 at 7:27 pm
Oh, and by the way, there is NOTHING admirable about an employer throwing their employees out by surprise like that. There is absolutely NO way the management or owners there didn't know it was coming. But they decided to screw the workers there anyway, not giving them a moments' heads-up.
Posted by joe, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 24, 2008 at 9:47 pm
Unfortunately, losing some of these establishments (Compadres, Elephant Pharm, etc) is only just the beginning. The worst is still yet to come with many more closures likely to occur as consumer spending will continue to vigorously tighten.
Posted by Too Much Traffic, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 25, 2008 at 2:07 pm
KT--I do not think there is a traffic problem in PA,but plenty of people do, you always here whining about too much traffic and attempts at "traffic calming" and narrowing of major streets in this city.
One of our council members has made it his/her raison d'etre for years.
i guess it just proves that if you say something often enough people will believe it is true.
Posted by Kevin, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 29, 2008 at 3:39 pm
1) Traffic and population? How silly. Those comments are typical examples of "me generation" spoiled brats who have nothing better to do than complain about everything. Ignore them!
2) Employees show up in shock that they're out of a job? Seriously, that's uncalled for. Owners of a business know exactly what their cash flow and general financial picture look like. They should have given them a week's warning, and a flexible schedule to look for other work. There's no reasonable cause for a "last minute closing" of all the restaurants. I've never laid off someone without notice because it's just plain wrong!!! Enos, you should be ashamed of yourself (I'm sorry, I loved Compadres, but I lost respect for you when I read that)
3) Compadres will be missed, because it was a great place to meet with friends for an hour or two on a sunny weekend. I find Celia's and other places elsewhere (Maya in SF!!!) to be more authentic and tasty for meals, but there was something special about hanging out at Compadres.
I expect to see many, many more businesses close down their doors, because of inflating supply prices, gasoline prices, increasing city and state taxes, and lack of credit availability for small businesses. (I write about this stuff on my blog @ Web Link) --- Having looked for commercial space recently, I can tell you that office and retail space is overly expensive here (and in sync with the ridiculous bubble-caused real estate values). I recently saw outdated and aging office space a couple blocks off of California Avenue going for nearly $5/sqft. Who are they kidding? That area isn't even "startup" material. This is why there are vast amounts of empty buildings right now littering our towns. (I admit that I take personal pleasure watching them lose revenue on lack of tenants because they gouge small businesses)
Posted by DDC, a resident of Woodside, on Oct 2, 2008 at 9:00 am
I took the sardonic comments regarding traffic and people as sarcastic, "tongue-in-cheek" comments towards what is going on in the catastrophic situation we are all in today. If you use your brain, they made a very good point.
Posted by Becky Brewer, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2008 at 12:12 pm
I want to thank Compadres personally on behalf of our family for donating food to Travis' memorial service. What a kind and generous thing to do for us at a difficult time for them. These people are good people and anyone who commented otherwise needs to look inside themselves.
Posted by Sara, a resident of another community, on Oct 13, 2008 at 12:44 am
I've been going there for over ten years. My colleagues (present and prior) called the last friday of the month Compadres Night. We loved the patio. Scott was the best. I think I'll still keep my Gusano card, member number 50. *sigh* We will really miss you all.
Posted by Tim Randolph, a resident of another community, on Jun 1, 2009 at 11:25 am
As a former manager of Compadres during the 90's I had first hand experience of the kind of operation Compadres really was. It is all too easy to sit back and judge comnpanies and people that we don't really know. While I was there, the food, the service and the atmosphere were exeptional.(Not necessarily because I was there; but because that was the culture and the expectation of the ownership.)
Palo Alto has lost a Gem!
SOME THINGS THAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW;
Rick Enos (A cofounder and managing partner of the Compadres chain} is one of the kindest and most generous men that I have ever met!
While I was there The Enos Family/Compadres was actively involved in several charities and charitable events including but not limited to;
The Ronald McDonald House - Compadres donated food on a regular basis, supported and or participated in tennis and golf tournaments and started a program that allowed families to bring their sometimes terminally ill children in for a night of fun, joy and lifetime memories(including photographs") at absolutely NO CHARGE to the familes.
The Junior Giants organization
Donations to local schools etc.
As for closing with no notice, only Mr. Enos knows why that was necessary. I guarentee you that he didn't sit at home plotting on how he could make it as painful as possible for all of the employees!
Maybe instead of criticizing or minimalizing this unfortunate event; Palo Alton's should thank Compadres for all of the great memories and the countless jobs that they provided for the community for all of those years.