Beloved family restaurant reopens at new location after a fire closed them down
YAKIMA, Wash.- Walking into Mercedes and Family you think it's been open for a while. With everyone running around to serve the lunch rush coming in.
You wouldn't know the people serving your food had lost everything in a fire just a couple months ago.
“We just saw all the doors closing on us. We couldn't open nowhere and wondered where do we go from there,” Mercedes’ son Erik Gomez said.
An explosive grease fire had burned a majority of their restaurant down. Causing about a half million dollars worth of damage.
The popular Mexican spot closed down in July. Leaving a loyal customer base to wonder if they'll ever eat there again.
“When there's a fire in the area, word spreads quickly. So, it's always disappointing to hear a restaurant that you go too often,” loyal customer Nahum Ray said.
Gomez said he quit his job to come back and help his family open up the new restaurant.
He said Mercedes and Family isn't just a name. It's the people behind the counter putting your order together.
“It's our life. Everybody works here from my brother-in-law to my sister,” Gomez said.
The first couple months after the fire, he said they couldn't find a new location to set up shop.
Until they drove down Lincoln Ave. and saw a unit that was open.
But after two restaurants had closed down at the same location in a matter of months, Gomez said the landlord was skeptical to take them on.
“He was just afraid another business that's going to close down. I told him, 'No, trust me. We push volume,'” he said.
Based off how many cars are in the parking lot, Gomez was right.
Because there's not one spot available around lunch time only four days after they re-opened.
But most of the customers Action News spoke with Tuesday are OK with that because at least they have one of their favorite food spots back in town.
“I'll just make it a point to come back a couple times a week as well,” Ray said.
You may notice the prices are a little more expensive compared to when they were off Tieton Drive.
That’s because the new building costs more to rent out but Gomez says you should expect the same quality of food that's made them so popular.