May 2, 2014
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Hundreds of customers flocked to La Perla Mexican Deli on Friday to catch a final meal before the beloved Richmond eatery closed for good.

The family-owned deli at the corner at Fourth Street and Nevin Avenue has been serving customers in Richmond since 1949, but officially closed on Friday to allow owners Mary and Heliodoro Ponce to retire.

Customers were lined up outside the door before the deli opened at 9 a.m. Friday morning, and the restaurant had run out of food to serve by noon, said Tiffany, one of the owners’ daughters.

“Thank you everyone for making our last day so special,” the family posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “We appreciate not just your business but thank you for sharing you (sic) lives with us. We’ve fed multiple generations and watched Richmond grow around us. New ownership will take place soon and we wish them all the best.”

Naturally, residents were bummed about the deli’s closure. One Facebook poster said La Perla “fed all three of my pregnancies.”

“My lunch was so delicious today…thank u guys for all of your years feeding us,” said another.

A restaurant serving Jamaican food will reportedly replace La Perla.

Read more about how important La Perla has been to the Richmond community  in a great West County Times article that was published in 2012.

According to the article: “Before the couple went into business, Mary Ponce had been a ‘Rosie the Riveter,’ working at the Kaiser Shipyards during World War II. She had also worked at the cannery in Richmond and for Santa Fe, while Heliodoro Ponce had worked at American Standard, another major Richmond factory of the day.'”


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.