SAN DIEGO — People are celebrating a big milestone for a family-owned restaurant known for its hospitality and homemade, hearty comfort food.
Tracy Turner came to Crest Café in Hillcrest when it first opened.
"I remember waiting in line the day they opened. A restaurant isn’t just about food, it's about memories," said Turner.
She is visiting from Florida and back at her favorite restaurant on its 40th anniversary.
"It's the #1 best food. The food comes with love, and it brings you back to something you’ve eaten, or you know is familiar," she says.
It first opened in 1982. In 1985, Luis Moreno bought the Crest Café. His nephew, Enrique Medina, is now the General Manager.
"I wish my Uncle Luis was still with us. It would be awesome if he could be a part of this accomplishment," said Medina.
And ever since, many of his family members have worked there.
Enrique’s father, Ruben Medina, is the kitchen manager. He started working there at 18-years-old right out of high school in 1988. He’s now worked there for 35 years.
"35 years! You know how many times I called in sick? Zero!" laughs Ruben.
CBS 8's very own 'Unknown Eater' visited the Crest Café in 1983. At that time, some food items were only $2-$5.
"Now, we're at $16 and $17," said Enrique.
The restaurant survived the pandemic, and they attribute it to loyal customers and staff.
September 27, 2022, is officially 'Crest Café Day.'
They're not planning on leaving anytime soon and neither does Turner.
"I expect another 40 years!" said Enrique.
"The love of food. The love of community. The support of the community that loves them back. It will never go away," said Turner. "Happy 40th anniversary!"
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