“Coming Soon,” says the banner covering up the old San Blas Mexican Restaurant sign at the corner of Santiam Highway and Bain Street in Albany. The question is: How soon?
The old restaurant started as a Chinese place years ago. It’s been closed for a long time, and for at least the last five years the building has been in an unfinished stage of remodeling. Every few weeks somebody asks me if I can find out what’s holding things up.
On Thursday, on the phone, I reached Marcos Garcia of Northstar Quality Construction, who had applied for the latest building permit, which was granted in August 2022.
“Five months,” he told me when I asked him for an estimate of when the construction would be done. “Maybe six.”
I asked him what had slowed things down. The phone connection was not the best, but as I understood him he wasn’t free to discuss it.
In the meantime, though, there’s progress on a related front.
Next week, on Wednesday, the Albany City Council is scheduled to recommend approval of a full on-premise commercial liquor license for the new restaurant, Rancho Hacienda Real. (Final approval is up to the state liquor commission.)
The police chief’s recommendation to approve the license identifies the applicant as Jorge Brambila.
Brambila, of Hillsboro, is president of Rancho Hacienda Real Inc., which gives the Albany restaurant’s address, 2845 Santiam Hwy. S.E., as its place of business.
So chances are that in a matter of months, people passing by the place will no longer be asking what’s happening at the corner of Santiam and Bain. (hh)