Dallas, TX

Historic Tex-Mex Restaurant Herrera's Cafe Closed for Good

Larry Lease

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Beloved Dallas tex-mex restaurant to close after several decades of success.Pylp Sukhenko/Unsplash

It's sad to see when restaurants that have been around for decades are forced to close up shop. One restaurant that was forced to close last week was Dallas Tex-Mex staple Herrera's Cafe. I was told by co-owner Larry Ontiveros, the restaurant was started by family matriarch Amelia Herrera in 1971 on Maple Avenue in Dallas.

It all started in a small restaurant. The restaurant moved to Sylvan Avenue in West Dallas in 2014. While this restaurant was forced to close, other restaurants run by three generations of Herrera's continue to operate other restaurants across North Texas. This includes Herrera's Oak Cliff, Cafe Herrera, and Herrera's Tex-Mex in Addison. Dallas News has reported that the Herrera's are one of the longest-running restaurant families in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with over 50 years of history.

Nora, wife of Larry said to me that the restaurant managed to survive the pandemic, but the economic impact were too tough to bear. They said they were forced to deal with food costs rising, shortage of workers. The restaurant was on a month-to-month lease since 2020. Herrera's Cafe on Sylvan Avenue has been called the original even though it's not at the original location.

The "new" cafe managed to bring over some cooks from the old location. Three cooks have been working in the kitchen for more than 40 years. Ontiveros told me that she has been working at Herrera's Cafe since 1976. The cafe has seen three generations of customers show up and eat their food. Herrera's Cafe became so popular that a line would always form around the building. The Ontiveros told me they had a family from Tulsa drive to the cafe just to eat there one last time before the closure.

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I specialize in crime, entertainment and political stories. I have spent eight years as a freelance writer and journalist.

Dallas, TX
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