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Restaurant faces wrecking ball

Original post made on Jul 19, 2008

Charles Gardyn's 1946 building, at the corner of Rengstorff Avenue and Old Middlefield Way, is so full of code violations that little can be done except to tear it down and start over, according to the city attorney's office.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 17, 2008, 1:50 PM

Comments (11)

Posted by Bernie Brightman, a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 19, 2008 at 11:49 am

"the owners say it's been voted best burrito in the Voice's "Best of Mountain View" competition for eight years running."

the owners say? Whaaat?! Doesn't the Voice know the history of its own award?? Lazy reporting I tell you. Lazy!


Posted by DG, a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 20, 2008 at 9:19 am

Actually, Taqueria La Bamba (located next door) has wrestled the title of been "Best Burrito" away from La Costena the last couple of years.


Posted by Restaurant Fan, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 20, 2008 at 8:47 pm

It is in the City of Mountain View's best interest to work with Gardyn so that the property could be rebuilt allowing existing businesses to restablish once construction is done. La Costena, La Bamba, etc. generates tax revenue for the City that a chain restaurant could not. We are long time Mountain View residents. We have tried Chipolte at Charleston. It is ok but in no way compares to La Costena. Gardyn's building does need to be safe for all concerned. Recipes and good food do not change just because of a structure. Rebuild and they will come back. Mountain View officials, please do not bite off the nose to spite the face. Work with Gardyn, please.


Posted by Meghan, a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 21, 2008 at 6:01 pm

I also LOVE the "burrito triangle" (La Costena, La Bamba, and Los Altos Taqueria) at the corner of Old Middlefield Way and Rengstorff Ave. However-- I live close by and have to drive past this building daily. That such an obviously unsafe eyesore holds such a well-loved community business is depressing. Mountain View is, overall, a wealthy community and its infrastructure reflects our community values. La Costena will benefit in the long run, as its reputation will survive. In a more friendly and safe building, it will attract more customers.


Posted by resident, a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2008 at 7:02 pm

I agree the building is an eyesore and no doubt unsafe and most likely unsanitary would be a logical conclusion. That said the city should make every attempt to assist the businesses in relocating and restablishing themselves.

BTW I too tried Chipolte and found it to be awful. I would say La Bamba, Los Altos Taqueria, and then La Costena. It just seems that La Costena has started lately to take its customers for granted, thinking that running a business out of a dilapidated building was not an issue to customers with a choice.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Building a new structure will be expensive. The owner will not be renting to La Costena on the cheap any more.

La Bamba is the better burrito, but La Costena has another location blocks away.


Posted by Matt, a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2008 at 2:37 am

I hate our city government. They just can't leave a good thing alone. They harrass La Bamba all the time, too. And what about that other place on Old Middlefied, the caterer they forced to move because of problems with their conditinal use permit. And what is wrong with a tax preparer in a CS zone? All they have to do is change the zoning to mixed use. All the best neighborhoods to live ina high-density mixed-use (i.e. Greenwich village in NYC). The city says it wants more businesses but they lie.
I wonder what friends of the city council members will make money from this deal.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2008 at 10:36 am

The caterer was forced to move because their building got torn down. They werent allowed a use permit for another one because the building had inadequate parking.

The CS zone is a mess, but get your facts straight


Posted by Candy, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 30, 2008 at 10:31 am

I like the building - even though I do not like their food. And yes Taqueria La Bamba has held the title for the last couple of years and has landed in the Voice for the best Taqueria (I think)in Mountain View in which I am in agreement with that. All I can say is - bring your business up to code or suffer the consequences. 2 years is a nice waiting period. If you can do one section at a time - then do so. I wish Taqueria La Bamba would expand so they own the whole entire site. I love their food.


Posted by Resident of Mtn. View, a resident of Whisman Station
on Aug 9, 2008 at 11:57 pm

The Mountain View Code Enforcement Division along with the City Attorney are all full of it. They seem to have nothing better to do than to drive around town in their little trucks and harass good people. Stand your ground people, they are just a bunch of arrogant jerks with too much power in their hands.Maybe its time for the City of Mtn View to elect some new blood into this department and send this current group of clowns on their merry way to where ever- as long as its away from here!


Posted by Rob, a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 13, 2008 at 2:33 am

I hear the owner of the building with La Costena in it is proposing to build high-density housing in its place. I guess it's not profitable rebuilding something similar in size but up to code just to bring back the same low rent tenants.


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