Medina's Family Restaurant serves last meal


Lunch hour at Medina's Family Restaurant was busier than usual on Tuesday as customers were coming, not just for food, but to say their goodbyes.

"I've been coming here for their chile verde, it's really really good," Shirley Blackberry said. "I'm really going to miss them."

Luis Medina said, "People have come down, when they found out it's going to be our last day, they've come down to say goodbye."

Owner Luis Medina has run the restaurant out of the basement of the Visalia courthouse for 15 years, but all that ends Tuesday.

Medina told Action News, "There's no regrets being here for 15 years, we've had a real nice time here, we've worked hard, we've given people a good product, a lot of good food."

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors voted earlier this month to grant Medina a six-month extension on his business license, so he could stay open through the end of January. But he was hoping for a one year lease.

"First they wanted us to go month to month, and then they said they'd give us six months," Medina said. "It's kind of hard to run a business like that. It's easier if you have a year contract, that way you know what to buy, what not to buy."

The county denied the request as it opens up the application process for a new tenant to come in. Officials complained Medina was late on rent multiple times, which he has since paid. But Medina could no longer stand the heat, so he decided to get out of the kitchen.

Medina said, "I stopped ordering product because I didn't want to get stuck with it all in the shelves and then I'd have to get rid of it."

Food racks are empty, and the soda machines are without soda, as Medina prepares to close down the restaurant that has provided lunch for jurors and court staff.

Violet Strawn said, "Them not going to be here is going to be a real hardship because there's not really time for us to go anywhere else and be back to work on time."

Now Medina says he's unsure whether he'll open up a restaurant at a different location.

As for possible new tenants, the county will start taking applications one to two months from now.

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