38 years are coming to an end for a favorite Tulsa Brookside restaurant. Casa Laredo was practically an institution at 41st and Peoria, but they were forced out to make room for the expansion of the Wild Oats Market.
While they're saying "adios" to their current location, News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg says this is not goodbye.
How do you say goodbye to practically the only job you've ever known? Edith Rojas started out working in the kitchen, speaking no English. But there might not be words in any language to describe the hurt. "It's hard, being here for so long. 37 years of my life here."
"That restaurant has a lot of history. It's a shame we have to move from Brookside." Edith's brother Guillermo will be making a fresh start at 6th and Peoria. The steadily revitalizing area has been dubbed the Pearl District. "This location have a lot of future. We are going to bring a lot of life to this neighborhood."
Plans are for a traditional Spanish-looking architecture and work is already underway, converting an existing building on the site into part of the restaurant. Guillermo thinks they can be open here in as little as 3 months, just in time for Cinco De Mayo. "We feel comfortable. I think we can make the difference, we are hard workers."
"I'm thrilled; I can't wait for them to open. I'll be their first customer." Just across the street, Village at Central Park developer Jamie Jamieson says Casa Laredo is a vital addition in a neighborhood that has few restaurants. "As a neighborhood, we're looking to get new, young, creative, diverse businesses in here and this is exactly the kind of neighborhood resource, neighborhood amenity that we've been looking for."
But look for the old Brookside crowd too. Rita Moore: â€œShe will probably get a lot of new business, but we will go wherever Edith goes." Edith Rojas: â€œWhich I appreciate, they follow me for so long."
Casa Laredo's last day in Brookside is Saturday, but their location at the Farm Shopping Center of course is still open at 51st and Sheridan.