by Mark Van Streefkerk
For the last 17 years, Maria and Andres Rodriguez, along with Andres’ brother Daniel, made everyone who frequented El Sombrero feel like family. A favorite destination for many Columbia City residents, El Sombrero was an authentic family Mexican restaurant, with dishes like carne asada, enchiladas, and Borrego and an atmosphere where the whole family could gather for a midweek meal or celebrate birthdays or special events. When the Rodriguez family announced April 25 would be El Sombrero’s last day, devoted customers came out in droves, ordering takeout or dining in at reduced capacity, for one last show of appreciation.
“It was definitely hard. There were a lot of customers that cried,” said Raquel Rodriguez, daughter of Maria and Andres, who worked at the restaurant for 16 years. “We weren’t expecting the amount of customers … and to know that so many loved us and came over to say one last goodbye and have one last meal at El Sombrero — It was great for my parents. I think they just felt really appreciated and felt so loved by the community.”Continue reading El Sombrero Closes After 17 Years, Leaving With ‘Love Full in Our Hearts’