Iconic Dallas Tex-Mex restaurant Herrera's on Denton Drive will close Saturday after more than 35 years at the location.
The owners of the property on Denton Drive plan to redevelop the area, forcing the closure of the restaurant.
"My heart sank because this is a second home for us," longtime customer Steven Plaugher said. "The enchiladas are over the top."
The restaurant was started by Amelia Herrera back in 1971 on Maple Drive and eventually expanded to the Denton Drive location. Her photo hangs at the entrance, while her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren continue serving the same recipes she created more than 40 years ago.
"I feel proud that they've enjoyed my mother's cooking," said Rebecca Herrera Marquez, who still helps customers daily at the Denton Drive location. "It's been wonderful. I've enjoyed every minute of it."
The restaurant is now operated by great-grandson, Gil Bonifaz.
"We've had people come in with babies and now their babies have babies," he said. "You can see the cycle of life throughout the restaurant."
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Other family members have started their own restaurants over the year, including Herrera's Café on Sylvan Avenue, but generations of loyalists to the Denton Drive location waited more than 2 hours for dinner last weekend. The restaurant expects another big crowd on their final weekend.
"We have people coming from California this weekend, Austin and Houston," Bonifaz said. "It's bittersweet, but nothing lasts forever and it's time to close this chapter in our lives."
While the iconic restaurant will close, Herrera's is planning on opening a new version at the Omni Hotel which plans to include old favorites, plus new additions like a fajita bar. Herrera's will join Coal Vines pizza, Biergarten and Little Katana sushi as part of a new development to bring authentic Dallas flavors to the convention center and downtown crowd.
The Omni Herrera's hopes to be open by mid-February.