CLOSING: La Fiesta Grande | Restaurant Says Goodbye After 28 Years

MISSION ST: Longtime South Pasadena family favorite closing its location

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | News | La Fiesta Grande is closing it doors after 28 years in South Pasadena

Jane Brust calls their enchiladas “the best.” She is not alone in expressing how much the food served at La Fiesta Grande will be missed.

Fellow South Pasadena resident Sam Valdivia is also among those saddened in hearing about the restaurant’s pending closure, expressing his love for its flan, a traditional Mexican dessert.

Words of gratitude are pouring in following the recent announcement that the longtime establishment will be closing its doors at the end of December.

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“The food has always been wonderful, margaritas excellent and staff fantastic,” noted David Sniezko of Pasadena, joining others on the Nextdoor app paying their respects to the eatery on Mission Street at Fairview Avenue in the city. A residential development called the Mission Bell Project will someday go in its spot.

In a note to the community, members of the La Fiesta Grande family said “with a heavy heart” the business will close December 29 after 28 years.

“Rest assured that we are in the process of looking for a new location and hopefully open again sometime in the spring,” reads a sincere message. “We would like to thank the City of South Pasadena and surrounding areas for all your support throughout the years, but most especially during the past year.”

Carol Schneider, who makes her home in South Pasadena, expressed sorrow in the restaurant’s departure by adding: “My husband and I have enjoyed your delicious food for as long as you’ve been open and will miss the friendly, efficient staff as much as the food.”

Noted South Pasadenan Barbara Field, “Ahh. Many good meals and good times there.”

Charlotte Mathis of El Sereno cried, “Oh nooo” in her remarks. “We look forward to your reopening,” while Ashley Gallardo, who lives in town, echoed, “Noooo!” telling others, “Your restaurant is one of the best in the area.”

Local resident Christy Miller said she was “sorry you have to shut down. I’m glad you’re looking for a new location, but wish rents in South Pasadena for businesses weren’t so ridiculously high. We’ve lost a lot of good businesses over the rent issue.”

Susan Parry and her family, who reside in Pasadena, are devastated by the news. “We love you guys,” she said. “Please come back. In the meantime, how do I order a vat of your margaritas?!”

It’s a secret to no one that the restaurant industry has struggled during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a national survey released by the National Restaurant Association in September, nearly one in six restaurants (representing 100,000 establishments) had either closed permanently or long-term during the first six months of the crisis. In addition, the survey indicated that close to three million restaurant employees were still unemployed and the industry looks to lose about $240 billion in sales by the close of this year.

Lynne Heffley of South Pasadena, like many is rooting for the restaurant’s return. “This is sad news,” she said. “You have been such a welcoming go-to place for my family and friends for many years. We are hoping that you find a new location close by. Wishing all of you better time ahead and hope to see you soon!”

In response to the outcry for La Fiesta Grande’s reopening, the family responded, “We’re looking forward to spring of 2021,”

With fingers crossed, of course.