Villa Mexico Cafe, Beacon Hill’s only gas station-based restaurant, is still up and running months after its building was expected to close.
Julie King, who runs the Mexican take-out restaurant with her daughter Bessie, appeared before the city’s licensing board Wednesday to renew their license to run their restaurant at 296 Cambridge St.
The license is good for “as long as we’re here,” Bessie King said from the eatery after the hearing, but there is still no definitive answer of how long that will be.
King was first told she would have to vacate the space she shares with Grampy’s gas station and convenience store by September because the property owner decided to turn the space into a five story office building. Delays pushed that eviction date to the end of 2011, but the station is still open two months into the new year.
The station’s property owner has told the Globe that tenants no longer have a lease and have limited time in the space as construction could start early next year.
But for now, Julie King will continue to cook up burritos, tamales, tostadas, tacos and other dishes at the gas station while she and her daughter work with the city and neighborhood to move 80 feet to a possible new location at 12 Grove St.
In December, the Beacon Hill Civic Association opposed a move to that location after neighbors raised concerns about rodent infestation, smells, and increased foot traffic that a take-out restaurant could bring to the street.
Since then, King and her daughter have been knocking on neighbors’ doors to discuss their concerns and working with residents, customers, and the city to stay on Beacon Hill, according to Bessie King.
“We really have our best foot forward,” King said. “We’ve just got to keep trying.”
The city’s Zoning Board of Appeals must decide whether the restaurant can operate on the residential Grove Street, but no hearing date has been set, according to King.
Twitter: @YourBeaconHill, @JohannaKaiser