Over in Richmond, an institution is in its last days. La Perla Mexican Delicatessen, which opened in 1949 during the boom years when the city was a lively, prosperous, non-crime-ridden place to live, is for sale and likely to close by the end of the year. The Ponce family has owned it, as well as the building it’s in, for the entire 63 years, and now the siblings who co-own the business are ready to retire and sell — they originally put the building on the market in 2005, but took it off when real estate prices collapsed.
The Contra Costa Times relays the family’s story, starting with Mary and Heliodoro Ponce who founded the place and are both now deceased — Mary died in 2005. Her children grew up running the business, which faced especially hard times after Hilltop Mall opened in 1976, but they’ve maintained a loyal customer base who travels back to eat there. Also, they’ve gotten by catering corporate events for the Chevron refinery, and the Kaiser Richmond Medical Center.
In any event, if you’re in the neighborhood, they’re hosting Taco Tuesday today before 4:30, with $1.25 tacos. The family promises, “We still are gonna serve our community until the end.”
La Perla Mexican Deli - 338 Nevin Avenue, Richmond - 510-232-4840 - Open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.