Borrego Sun - Since 1949

El Borrego Shuts Its Doors


Last updated 10/8/2020 at 2:21pm

Garett Wood

With the coronavirus pandemic bringing hardships on many businesses, and the uncertainty of going back to normal, has certainly made it hard for small restaurants.

After 12 years of serving Mexican homemade style meals to Borregans and visitors alike, El Borrego Restaurant is closing its doors for good as of Sept. 26. Owner Juan Carlos said with the struggles COVID-19 brought, they could only do so much.

The virus and constant changing/modified restrictions prevented many from visiting, it took a toll on the restaurant.

"We barely had any income coming in and the amount of bills continued to pile up, so we felt it was the right decision to close our doors," he said. "We tried to stretch ourselves out as much as we could, but so many things from bills to problems continued so this was the best thing. It was just too much stress and couldn't do it anymore."

Juan and his wife Irma Vasquez purchased the property for El Borrego in June 2007 and worked diligently all summer to get it ready for its opening a few months later in September.

"As soon as we saw this place, my wife and I knew it looked like a nice position for a taco shop, and we thought we could make it here," he said.

El Borrego has been a place filled with delicious food, family-friendly events, supporting the local organizations, and will be a missed location.

What's next for Juan and his family?

For the moment, he and his family will remain in Borrego.

"We've been in this business for over 30 years, but it's time for us to go out there and do new things and see different places."

Different places are right for Juan, as he will use his commercial driver's license (CDL), which he has had for 12 years, but has never done much with it. With the closure of the restaurant, he saw an opportunity to start a future in that direction.

Most recently, he went to Los Angeles for a refresher course and was later sent with another driver to go cross-country on an 11-hour drive, where he said it was something different, but exciting.

"I felt at peace. I was able to see new places and new things in just a small span of time. Sometimes when you have a business, it can be a pain, always something going wrong, added responsibility – so I think this was a bit better," he chuckled.

Juan said that they are glad they could make people happy with their food and fun times.

"It brought us so many people who we love as family, great memories and experiences, being part of a community like Borrego is just wonderful. Sometimes you can't say it with words, you just feel it, and being in Borrego and seeing the happy faces, you just know it's home."

Juan noted that they could come back into the business, and to keep an eye out for that possibility.

"Familia Vasquez loves the people of Borrego, and were happy to be of service while there," he said.