Longtime Coastsiders may recognize him. Armando Maya was the cook at Main Street Grill in Half Moon Bay, working side-by-side for more than 20 years with chef/owner Bill Gevas known for his singing along with tunes from a jukebox while frying up eggs and bacon on the grill.
Now Maya and his wife Maria, who owns Eclipse Hair Salon in Half Moon Bay, are spreading their wings to Pacifica, opening this fall a new diner-style breakfast and lunch spot.
Named Sunrise Café and Grill, the new eatery is located in the same Linda Mar Shopping Center space that once occupied Kerri’s Coffee Shop for 44 years.
“We are excited to open here in Pacifica and serve the same style of good food that Kerri’s was known for,” said Maya, who admits he has some big shoes to fill since Kerri’s was one of the most popular — and longest operating — businesses in the Linda Mar Center.
“There were a lot of loyal customers who came to Kerri’s, and I hope they come back with some new business,” he said.
Initially, when Maya took over the business in July, the restaurant was going to be closed for just a month while the space was remodeled. But after visits from the health inspector and City of Pacifica, Maya learned that everything, including the kitchen sink, was out of code.
“The booths and floors we were going to replace anyway because the décor was old, but now we are required to put in a new counter since it’s too low, an ADA compliant bathroom, six more sinks in the kitchen, new ceiling lights, the list goes on,” he said.
Despite the setback, Maya thinks the changes were needed anyway since the space was so outdated, and he’s optimistic for a successful run with a fresh new look, he said.
The former owner Michael Kennedy, who retired this past summer after running the business for 44 years, has done everything he can to help Maya make a smooth transition, including recommending two waitresses who used to work at Kerri’s and are ready to start working again.
Sunrise Café and Grill, soon to be a new fixture on the landscape of the Linda Mar Shopping Center, will serve old-fashioned diner style breakfasts and lunches and will be open everyday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning sometime in mid-November.
“It was a labor of love for the former owner serving Pacifica families,” said Maya, “and now it will be a labor of love for us.”