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Morgan Hill
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September 23, 2021

Full-speed ahead on rebuilding Sinaloa

Mexican food aficianados from Morgan Hill as well as from
far-flung points beyond should be heartened by the news that the
Sinaloa is well on its way to serving its famous food and
margaritas once again. The optimistic forecast is that the
restaurant will be open to serve its hungry and thirsty patrons in
late spring.
Mexican food aficianados from Morgan Hill as well as from far-flung points beyond should be heartened by the news that the Sinaloa is well on its way to serving its famous food and margaritas once again. The optimistic forecast is that the restaurant will be open to serve its hungry and thirsty patrons in late spring.

We salute the spirit of the Peña family, which has owned the restaurant for more than four decades, and is working hard to make sure the much-loved restaurant will be around for decades longer.

Whether patrons loved the restaurant for its enchiladas smothered in that delectable sauce, its tacos, tamales or menudo, or appreciated the margaritas, sangria and other potent potables it served, Sinaloa Cafe has been sorely missed since it was destroyed by fire last June. Any place that was filled to overflowing every weekend and had customers happily waiting at least an hour for a table on regular basis obviously had the recipe for success.

We’re glad the city’s various commissions and the Peña family were able to reach a compromise over two late 19th-century Queen Anne-style homes on the property. The Peñas wanted to raze the buildings to make more space for parking, which, as any patron can attest, the eatery desperately needed.

The historical evaluation of the two structures, prepared in September by Archaeological Resource Management of San Jose, notes one building, at 19210 Monterey Highway, “has sustained some loss of architectural integrity.” The second building, at 25 Peebles Ave., was found to have architecture that is “not significant” and the “architectural and historical integrity were also found to be lacking.”

Given that evaluation, the solution of allowing the buildings to be removed and memorializing them with plaques and pictures in the new restaurant seems reasonable.

Carrying all the character of the old into the new – except the insufficient restroom facilities that will be made adequate to handle the needs of patrons and staff – is something to look forward to.

The city is aware of the importance of Sinaloa Cafe to Morgan Hill, not mention folks from well outside South Valley. Mayor Dennis Kennedy has called it “… the Margaritaville of our city.” While we’re not advocating any special favors or rule bending, given the restaurant’s unique place in Morgan Hill history, we are urging city staff to ensure the project is given high priority and doesn’t get bogged down in any red tape.

The Peña family has lived and worked in the Morgan Hill community for decades, and has supported efforts to improve the area’s well-being.

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