Los Hermanitos to close East Main Street location, but westside restaurant to stay open

Matt Hollinshead
Farmington Daily Times
The popular Mexican restaurant Los Hermanitos at 3560 E. Main St. in Farmington will close down on Jan. 27 as the business downsizes and focuses on the success of its westside location.

FARMINGTON – Los Hermanitos has already endured significant hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the popular Mexican restaurant business faces another major blow that’ll take effect next week.

Owner Sam Gonzales said his establishment’s northeast location in Farmington will close by the end of the month after the business could not come to a lease agreement with property management. The westside location remains open.

Gonzales said the last day of operations at the northeast location will be Jan. 27, adding that the current lease is set to end on Jan. 31. However, the westside location will remain open.

“We’re just downsizing,” Gonzales said, adding he owns the westside location but does not own the Northeast location. “We’re so far behind that I need consistency… I need to be able to try to establish our cash flow. It’s been drastically affected... We need some leniency on rent.”

New Eatery:Mediterranean restaurant coming to downtown Farmington

The effects of the pandemic have been brutal for restaurants statewide, and Los Hermanitos has felt and fought through those impacts.

The New Mexico Environment Department suspended Los Hermanitos’ food service permit for both restaurant locations at 2400 West Main Street and 3560 East Main Street back in July for violating the state’s public health order.

The food service permits for both locations were reinstated on Sept. 2, but the ripple effects of the pandemic continued.

COVID-19 cases statewide soared after Labor Day weekend and kept soaring through mid-November before Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham tightened up restrictions again — subsequently leading to another indoor dining ban and restaurants only being allowed to provide delivery and carryout services.

“The way it looks, things are going to be shut down for a while,” Gonzales said. 

News:Three Rivers Brewery owner says pandemic is keeping him in holding pattern

Gonzales said he doesn’t see an opportunity in the near future to restore a second location, whether it’s the same Northeast Farmington site or another part of town, but added he’s leaving the door open for that to happen at some point.

In order to eventually restore a second location, Gonzales said he would need a reasonable rent plan for a year out rather than a month-to-month plan.

For now, Gonzales plans to make the most of food service at Los Hermanitos’ westside location.

Gonzales said he already has curbside and drive-up window pickup options to complement DoorDash and GrubHub services, and he plans to build a patio in the near future.

“The west location is strong and running,” Gonzales said.

News:City Council denies funding, but expresses excitement about Ironwood Gym, Locke Street Eats

Gonzales said he hopes things improve to a point where people eventually won’t be afraid to come to restaurants.

“It’s not any particular restaurant, we’re closed throughout the state,” Gonzales said. “This economy has to re-establish itself… It’s my livelihood. It’s what I do for a living.”

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577, and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: