By Bob Uphues
After a nearly two-year run at 3755 Grand Blvd. in downtown Brookfield, the Mexican restaurant Fiesta Margarita shut its doors for good the last weekend of July.
The eatery had shown signs that it was on the rocks earlier this year. Fiesta Margarita's hours of operation became sporadic in the spring, when the restaurant suddenly closed for most of a two-week period in mid-March.
On March 17, the owner posted a message on Facebook that Fiesta Margarita was looking for a new cook. A few days later, the owner acknowledged that the restaurant's hours had become unpredictable.
"We are working towards fixing this," the March 22 post stated. "And our weekends (Fridays and Saturdays) will be opening up again very soon."
Initially open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 a.m., the hours of operation changed in mid-April to 4 to 9 p.m. But sporadic closures continued, with the last announced on Facebook on May 23. The restaurant's final message was that it would be closed on Memorial Day.
By July 28, the restaurant was reported to be closed, with people commenting on social media that the business signs on the exterior had come down.
However, it does not look like the space will be empty for too long. The village has received a business license application for a restaurant called Brookfield Breakfast at 3755 Grand Blvd.
The breakfast/lunch spot will be open seven days a week from 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to a sign recently placed in a window at the location.
Brookfield Breakfast has already passed its pre-opening restaurant inspection, conducted by the Cook County Department of Public Health.
Claudia Camacho, the owner of Brookfield Breakfast, said this is her first foray into owning a restaurant, though she has many years of experience in the industry. The menu will feature traditional breakfast dishes like omelets, pancakes and the like. She doesn't have an opening date targeted yet.
A string of restaurants have come and gone from the small, pie-shaped location where Grand Boulevard and Prairie Avenue form a point, since the building was remodeled around 1999.
The first restaurant to inhabit the former home of Paden's Drug Store, post renovation, was Luna Café, a retro-inspired eatery that operated at 3755 Grand Blvd. for about four years, closing abruptly in 2005.
That was followed by Trattoria Gemelli, an Italian restaurant that had a three-plus year run at the corner location, closing in October 2009.
The last three restaurants at the space have featured Mexican cuisine. Xni-Pec, a Yucatan-style eatery that won a place on Michelin's Bib Gourmand list, relocated to 3755 Grand Blvd. from Cicero in 2010. It closed in 2013 and was replaced by Fuego Cantina, which lasted two years before giving way to Fiesta Margarita.