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Chez José, the 35-year-old Mexican restaurant in the Burlingame neighborhood, is closing Vibesbullet

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Chez José, the Mexican restaurant that has been feeding the Burlingame neighborhood for more than three decades, will be serving its last fajitas next month.

Owners Howie Schechter and Tom Midrano Jr. announced in an email sent to subscribers Sept. 21 that they were closing the store the restaurant’s website.

The two shared that they had been in the process of retiring for the past six months and during that time had been actively looking for someone to run the restaurant at 8502-A SW Terdlinger Blvd. bought. However, your search was unsuccessful. Schechter and Midrano Jr. identified the industry’s ongoing challenges.

“We have been working with the bare minimum of kitchen staff for the last six months and have decided to close the restaurant on our terms rather than close abruptly due to staff shortages,” the letter reads. “This provides us with an opportunity to celebrate with our customers and associates, as befits our wonderful career of service to the City of Portland over the past 35 1/2 years.”

Schechter and Midrano Jr. opened Chez José in 1987 on what they called a “small budget.” Over the years, the restaurant has built a solid reputation in the neighborhood that no doubt helped them survive a devastating fire in 2001 that broke out at neighboring Burlingame Grocery. The owner of that store, Tom Calkins, was convicted two years later on one charge of arson.

Decades later, Chez José weathered another incredibly difficult challenge: COVID and the ensuing series of closures and service restrictions. While the company has weathered the worst of the pandemic, it will ultimately be wiped out by the disruption to the hospitality industry brought on by the global health emergency and choppy job market.

Longtime customers have until October 8th to fill up on enchiladas, burritos, chimichangas and flan.

“We have been blessed with a great staff over the years and have the honor of many employees who have been with us for over 20 years,” Schechter and Midrano Jr. wrote we had is thanks to the people who worked so hard to provide the best food and to make Chez José such a warm and friendly place to dine.” Chez José, the 35-year-old Mexican restaurant in the Burlingame neighborhood, is closing ,

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