Let's begin by introducing a small family restaurant called El Galope in East Palo. That you likely have passed it on your way to Home Depot is your loss, for it brings amazing mexican food to the table, and allows a glimpse into the richness of our hispanic community. Over the past few years Guillermina has cooked for our kids water polo parties, and helped me develop my spanish, and become a friend in spite of my minimal spanish. The following is a link to Palo Alto Online reviews:
Now to the problem. El Galope is being evicted as part of the redevelopment Gateway/101 Project. Guillermina's son told me that the redevelopment agency has evicted them, and offered $30,000. They have found that the "new" East Palo does not welcome their business, instead hoping for Starbucks, and other national tenants. Even with potential spaces, to move and reestablish a restaurant is at least $150,000. The business is vital, but lacks the capital to fund a restart.
Our community should embrace these resources like El Galope. Instead, we are on the verge of losing a resource that each of our spanish students should visit to experience the culture and food.
Palo Altans are likely connected with these redevelopment projects through our community. We may be behind the development or the architecture. We might have relationships to city officials. If you have a connection, perhaps you could remind that person that:
- El Galope and other tenants should get more support than the paltry buyout officials offer.
- The property managers of the Home Depot and these other sites should see the life blood that these small businesses provide, and welcome them to their developments. Why not subsidize rent as part of redevelopment to give these businesses a healthy start when the move.
Listening to Ignacio, Guillermina's son, I was moved to write -- even though I am up to my ears in life. I hope some can visit El Galope before it is gone, and others find some clever ways to help it stay. They have a few more months before it is gone. Ignacio can be emailed at email@example.com, and he would welcome your thoughts.
Ok, and go on a Sunday morning and have the fresh corn tamales...they are out of this world.