This story originally appeared in Beverage Industry News November 2015
Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant has been a San Francisco staple since opening its doors 50 years ago. This is an impressive feat! With rents multiplying and economies shifting, it is a challenge to be in the restaurant business, especially in San Francisco. But, Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant has made it and is celebrating their 50th Anniversary.
Tomas “Tommy” Bermejo came to the US from the Yucatan as a guest worker through the United States and Mexico’s Bracero Program, which ran between 1942 and 1964. Tommy’s first business was a small café on MacAllister Street called Elmy’s Café, named after his wife. When Tomas decided to start a restaurant in 1965, he found the space on Geary Street and bought the building. It was very fortuitous that Tomas and Elmy purchased the building. “I am lucky that my parents bought the building,” explained Julio Bermejo, son of Tomas and Elmy. “We were able to ride out any early struggles and never had the threat of our rent being tripled in price.”
When one talks about Tequila, it is not uncommon for Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, and the Tommy’s Original Margarita, to be a part of the conversation. While still a family-owned business that opened its doors in...