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Chevy's in Alameda closed

I know it's not exactly a top Chowhound destination, but Chevy's was one of the only non-fast food places I could walk to from my office in Marina Village. Could be a very pleasant place, out there by the water, to enjoy a long lunch and maybe a margarita or two. Anyway, a group of us went to go for lunch there yesterday and found that it was closed down. There was a handwritten sign on the door saying they had lost their lease. I think this location was the original Chevy's before they became a chain.

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  1. That's too bad. It was the original restaurant location and the food was fresh, they had reasonable vegetarian choices, and it was probably one of five places in the east bay that I could reasonably take my spirited kids for a sit-down meal. Hadn't been in a while, though. The service was really going downhill: waits for food became excruciating w/ hungry kids, they'd forget to bring orders and still charge for them, etc. Maybe that's how chains work...

    3 Replies
    1. re: MollyGee

      I had some problems with that location as well, such as them bringing out chips and salsa but no water for twenty minutes. Someone at another table offered us a glass since my companion was choking, and the waiters just kept walking right past...

      Was there a sign indicating what will replace it? I cannot imagine that that location would not be snapped up immediately.

      1. re: merle

        No - no indication of anything coming to replace it yet. I think this was a quite recent development. The only thing the sign on the door mentioned was the other Bay Area locations that are still open.

        I'd been three or four times in the past couple of years, and I never had a problem with the service bad enough for me to remember it.

        1. re: Martin Strell

          Maybe something just as good and locally owned will replace it - we can only hope. You're right, not so chowhoundish, but if you have kids with you, or just need a quick meal or a beer, it was perfectly decent as far as chains went.

    2. That's really too bad. We didn't go often, but it was a very pleasant place to eat - lovely view of downtown and the Estuary right outside the window. Outside seating, too.

      Often it was very crowded and you had to wait, but we didn't mind. Sad to see it go.

      Chevy's is NOT the place to go for Mexican food (yucky), but the fajita plate is still good. Now the only close one is in Emeryville - it's actually also very pleasant and you can sit outside on their deck over the Bay.

      1 Reply
      1. re: oakjoan

        Fajitas are the way to go at Chevy's.

        The Richmond location does them (and everything else) much better than Emeryville.


      2. How had the branch been doing? I'm wondering if it had been kept going out of respect for its founder, Warren Simmons, who died about a month ago.

        1. I hadn't been there in a while, but it was usually packed except in off-hours. We often had to wait for a table.

          1. Chevy's fell on hard times a few years ago and was bought, almost out of bankruptcy, by a company called Real Mex, which also owns Acapulco and (I think) El Torito. I would be surprised if this location was snapped up quickly. If it was a rent issue, Chevy's could have ponied up the cash if it still remained profitable. If they couldn't sustain it with their sales, someone would have to do really, really well to afford that much square footage.

            The more important question to me is, where is a decent place to eat if you work in Marina Village? I wouldn't eat a second time at any of the places in the Albertsons plaza (well Dog Out but not to often), Oatez has disappointed me once to often to go back and Tran is ok but not great. Do I have to bring my lunch every day?

            4 Replies
            1. re: foodfan

              Dim sum at either East Ocean or Chef's Wok. I think they have "regular" lunch specials as well.

              What about India Palace? I know they have a buffet, is it open for lunch?

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Yes, India Palace has a respectable buffet for lunch. The usual suspects. Tandori chicken, etc. Not bad if you need to eat in the area.

                Waterfront Deli at the Marina isn't bad either.

                Angela's is a sit-down restaurant in Marina Village Plaza. I've been pretty disappointed both times I've gone for lunch. I think I saw that the readers of Alameda magazine voted the chef there as Alameda's best chef, but at my two lunches there, I saw no signs of anything special.

                Katsu Chicken at the Hawaiin barbeque place is pretty good too, but any further discussion of them should go on the chains board.

                Yes, after changing jobs from downtown Oakland and moving to Marina Village in Alameda, one of the biggest shocks was the change in lunch choices. (I bike to work, and I won't bike through the tube.)

              2. re: foodfan

                Wow, a few of us seem to work in Marina Village! Anyway, I bring my lunch most days, but otherwise I've been enjoying the garlic shrimp from L&L Hawaiian BBQ and the sausages from the DugOut. Also the Chinese food at East Ocean is quite good. Plus I'm a sucker for lamb curry from the India Palace buffet. Sometimes we'll head into Chinatown to eat at Cam Huong. I convinced my coworkers to try the New Zealand pub fare at the old Croll's building once.

                1. re: Nineteen

                  I work on the old naval base - there is a Cambodian place in China town called Phnom Penh that is yummy. Papaya salad is good - make sure ask for white meat chicken or you might get some scary stuff. If you want to drive the deli Bacci on Lincoln just past Constitution is also delicious. I also 2nd the Waterfront Deli - pretty good stuff.

              3. Alameda was indeed the first Chevys location. In addition to architectural plans for this Chevys on the wall, the first tortilla from El Machino was encased in plexiglass behind the counter. (The tortilla looked hard and shellacked and had a crack through it. I called it the Liberty Bell Tortilla.)

                This was one of my favorite locations. It's next to the water, architecturally interesting (it's not a Gehry by any means but instead of the usual Chevys box it was lighthouse inspired and the bar is nice), and I've found the food to be the strongest of any Chevys in the East Bay (with the possible exception of Richmond).

                R.I.P. Alameda Chevys (1986-2006)

                My Overall Chevys Rankage:

                3 Replies
                1. re: katya

                  Wow - a web site devoted to your love of Chevy's! Cool! A little scary, but cool...

                  The Alameda Chevy's is the only one I've been to in the East Bay, but sounds like Richmond is worth a try.

                  1. re: Martin Strell

                    Thanks, yes it is scary, I know.

                    Richmond would be my top East Bay pick, but it's not as good as it used to be (in the days when the salsa was nice and brown from roasting and the pinto beans were good and watery).

                    I've been to all the locations in the Bay Area (and many that are now closed) except Vacaville. The best include: Foster City (great location on the lagoon and good food), Pleasanton (solid food, surroundings boring), and Santa Rosa (in an old train station, good food).

                    In case anyone's wondering the first couple of Chevys were in Alameda, Pleasant Hill, Greenbrae, and El Cerrito (now closed).

                    1. re: katya

                      the one at the EC Plaza was the best before... almost there every Friday/Sat. night during hs/early college years.

                2. I know Chevy's isn't the best Mexican food but it was comfort food for me - a good place to go when we didn't want to cook and wanted something familiar and a pleasant view. I'm disappoinged it's gone - maybe one can open in the Alameda Towne Centre (which we like to pronounce Townee Centray).

                  According to the Chevys site (which still lists Alameda as active) a new Chevys was supposed to open in San Leandro on July 31st - seems like that might be easier to get to then Emeryville but I haven't done Google Driving Directions to check.

                  San Leandro, CA 15555 E.14th St.
                  San Leandro, CA 94578 July 31, 2006

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: susankr

                    The new Chevy's in San Leandro apparently opened on August 17. See http://www.sanleandrochamber.com/augu.... Anyone been?

                    1. re: Martin Strell

                      From what I read, the Chevy's in San Leandro is a slight move of the Chevy's that used to be in the back parking lot of Bayfair Mall. Now, it's housed in a new location that's attached to the mall.

                      1. re: Martin Strell

                        I heard that a new location was opening in San Leandro, and didn't realize it was already open! The only time I went to the old Bayfair Chevys was by walking there from BART at night over culverts. It was a little scary and I remember hearing that somebody found a body there a week later.

                        Obviously I do like Chevys. My favorite things are their mostly greaseless chips and tasty salsa, followed by their pinto beans (beans a la charra). Their entrees aren't as good as their salsa and beans, but their $12 Best of the Best is a cheap and yummy dinner as it feeds the boyfriend and me, and includes a small order of fajitas and an item from the menu (enchilada - get the chicken and ask for the ranchero sauce, tamale - I like their chicken with tomatillo salsa, etc.).

                      2. re: susankr

                        If you're coming from Alameda, the area around Bayfair isn't particularly easy to get to. Unless it's rush hour, I think Emeryville (which is right off 80) is more accessible. Plus it has a view.

                        Not that I'm a Chevy's fan. When I want that kind of food/experience, I prefer El Torito.

                      3. I had a horrendous experience here in July 2006. I was part of a large party and did not expect first class service (because of how large our party was) but would have liked a waitress without a frown from beginning to end, who didn't spill drinks and not have it properly wiped up (a child slipped and fell - no apologies or concern from the waitress either), chips arrived about 40mins to 1 hr later (no baskets available), lack of utensils available so we had to use plastic ones, orders were all mixed up and some people were not served at all, and tortillas were delayed (something wrong with machine) so only some people got them with their food. Since I wasn't able to talk to the manager about this (she was too busy per the hostess) I spoke to the regional manager who handled it very professionally. I'm still a loyal Chevy's customer because of how the regional office handled my dissatisfaction.

                        By the way, Chevy's in San Francisco (downtown and on Vanness), Mountain View, and previously in Sunnyvale (now closed) all provide quality service. It was a great place to bring all your friends for a guaranteed fun time.