51-year-old Tex-Mex restaurant Herrera’s Cafe to close in Dallas

Longtime Dallas Tex-Mex staple Herrera’s Cafe, on Sylvan Avenue, will shut Friday, April 22, 2022.

It was started out by family members matriarch Amelia Herrera in 1971 on Maple Avenue, in a tiny restaurant the place she introduced her pots and pans from house to prepare dinner Tex-Mex food, claims Nora Ontiveros, whose husband, Larry Ontiveros, is one particular of Amelia Herrera’s grandsons. Four a long time after the cafe opened, the Ontiveros household moved the Maple Avenue restaurant to Sylvan Avenue in West Dallas in 2014.

51-year-old Tex-Mex restaurant Herrera’s Cafe to close in Dallas
A classic photograph hanging on the wall of Herrera’s Cafe at 3311 Sylvan Avenue in Dallas demonstrates the first cafe on Maple Avenue. It opened in 1971.(Louis DeLuca / Staff members Photographer)

A few generations of Herrera’s spouse and children customers work other restaurants in North Texas that share the household identify but have distinctive ownership, such as Herrera’s Oak Cliff, Cafe Herrera in Downtown Dallas, and Herrera’s Tex-Mex in Addison. The Herreras proceed to be 1 of the longest-operating restaurant people in Dallas-Fort Truly worth, with 51 a long time of record.

The closure of Herrera’s Cafe in West Dallas will not influence the other places to eat.

Nora Ontiveros claims the cafe on Sylvan Avenue produced it as a result of the pandemic, but the financial aftershocks have been challenging to bear.

Herrera's Cafe moved and reopened in 2014 in West Dallas, on Sylvan Avenue. In the past nine...
Herrera’s Cafe moved and reopened in 2014 in West Dallas, on Sylvan Avenue. In the previous nine yrs, the area has witnessed fast advancement, in element since of the construction all around the Trinity Groves development.(Louis DeLuca / Personnel Photographer)

“We’re blessed that we’ve been in this article this prolonged, but the factor is: Everything’s shifting now. You just cannot obtain personnel to work. The food items is so high-priced. I assume it’s time for us to go,” she states.

The cafe experienced been running on a month-to-thirty day period lease due to the fact 2020.

Herrera’s Cafe on Sylvan Avenue is regarded by some as the first even however it is not in the unique place. 3 of the cooks moved from the Maple to the Sylvan place and stay in the kitchen these days, doing the job for the family members for a lot more than 40 many years. Ontiveros suggests their consistency, producing well-liked dishes like enchiladas with chile con carne for a long time, is one of the good reasons she thinks many generations of prospects have continually occur back again.

Ontiveros has been performing at Herrera’s Cafe because 1976, when she was asked to help with her husband’s spouse and children business enterprise two several years soon after she’d experienced twin women. In 1984, the restaurant was profiled in Countrywide Geographic, serving to the Herrera title come to be nationally regarded.

“The line was generally wrapped about the developing,” Ontiveros states of the first cafe.

The fervor has continued to current-working day: One family members drove in from Tulsa this 7 days, to eat at Herrera’s Cafe just one past time following hearing about the impending closure.

Grandma Herrera was a one mother with 5 little ones — an entrepreneur who was “always trying some thing,” as Ontiveros remembers. She owned a women’s health club, then a bar, in advance of her brothers persuaded her to open a cafe, inspired by the great lunches she’d make when they’d occur property at midday from work, for dwelling-designed tortillas and a guiso.

The matriarch died various decades right after she started the cafe, but the relatives name lives on.

“It’s been a long, very good run,” Ontiveros suggests.

“I don’t want to cry,” she suggests, her voice cracking. “Our prospects have been so great. It’s like a relatives. It is like you are inviting family to appear for evening meal every night and just about every day for lunch.”

Herrera’s Cafe’s final working day will be Friday, April 22, 2022, and food stuff provides are now limited. The cafe is at 3311 Sylvan Ave., Dallas.

For far more foodstuff news, observe Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.

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