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By Elena Kadvany

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.