O'FALLON, Mo. — After seven years in business, Mexican restaurant Don Emilianos Restaurante Mexicano of O'Fallon, Missouri, closed, the husband-and-wife co-owners said.
In a post on Facebook, Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano and her husband and chef, Victor "Hugo" Arellano-Guzman, wrote, "This is not goodbye, but rather, hasta mañana."
The O’Fallon restaurant, located at 8600 Veterans Memorial Parkway, offered authentic Mexican cuisine and vegan fare.
Ramirez-Arellano said their daughter Marcela, who died in September, launched the vegan menu in 2017, when she returned to Missouri after spending time in Costa Rica. Since then, it’s become a much-loved staple for the restaurant, according to Ramirez-Arellano, and likely will be included in their next culinary endeavor.
In 2021, the couple purchased the restaurant's property, after years of paying rent to landlord Mark Bredenkoetter, Ramirez-Arellano said. She said being able to buy the property was a "huge accomplishment." She declined to share the purchase price, but according to St. Charles County records, Don Emiliano's LLC paid Bredenkoetter Family LLC an adjusted $385,000 for the property in January 2021.
But around March this year, the couple was approached by two interested buyers looking to pay a higher price.
At first, the couple said they weren't interested, Ramirez-Arellano said. But after some consideration, they decided the best business decision was to sell the space and close the restaurant. She said profits are stable and the decision was not a response to declining sales or financial troubles.
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