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Villa Mexico Cafe to close at end of month, relocation still in the works

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  January 16, 2013 11:11 AM

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A popular Beacon Hill eatery is preparing for its final days in its unusual home at Grampy’s gas station.

Villa Mexico Café, the small take-out restaurant that has operated inside the gas station on the corner of Cambridge and Grove streets for the past six years will close at the end of the month, according to an open letter posted online by owner Julie King.

“My friends, because you have all truly become friends, I am so sad to know
I have to leave you. This Momma King tried very hard to hold on and make
the move into a new place as quickly and efficiently as possible, but things happen as God wants them and for a reason,” King writes in the letter to customers and supporters.

The announcement comes after nearly two years of possible moves and closures for the restaurant, as Grampy's lot awaited a transformation into an office building.

Now, the property owner plans to begin construction in February, according to King.

King had hoped to relocate to a space on Grove Street, not far from her current location, but neighbors’ opposition to the restaurant moving into a residential area blocked those plans.

Now, King is working to move into a space at 309 Cambridge St, which is owned by Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. King said she has submitted the paperwork for the space and will receive confirmation to lease the space in the coming months.

King hopes to reopen her restaurant this year.

“Like I mentioned, I knew this would happen. But as many of you know I still hoped to stay here until I could move into a new home and not have a day off. The hardest part for me will be not seeing your faces every day to be very, very, honest,” King writes.

Villa Mexico Cafe will still offer catering and sell its salsa online when the storefront closes, and King also plans to work to put her salsa onto the shelves of local specialty food shops.

To end on a high note, King has invited all her customers to a going away party on February 1, her last Friday at the store.

“I know that I have asked all of you for quite a few things over the years, but the one last thing I ask of you now is to please be patient and don't forget us because we will be back,” King writes.

E-mail Kaiser at Johanna.yourtown@gmail.com. For more news about your city, town, neighborhood, or campus, visit boston.com’s Your Town homepage.

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