Rockland restaurant, in business for 48 years, closes


El Bandido, which temporarily closed in November 2023 and then opened again in December, permanently closed its doors mid-June.

The Spring Valley restaurant, a longtime Mexican food fixture, had been in business for more than 48 years and was owned by the Tello family.

Their Middletown location, which operates under the Viva Bandido name, remains open.

El Bandito, which has been in Spring Valley for 48 years, is permanently closed. Their Middletown location remains open. Photographed July 1, 2024

El Bandito, which has been in Spring Valley for 48 years, is permanently closed. Their Middletown location remains open. Photographed July 1, 2024

Though there was no formal post, one of the owners (it’s run by brothers Tony and Angel) told The Journal News/lohud financial reasons were behind their decision.

New City resident Eti Znamirowski LeMoullec is one of many patrons who took to the Spring Valley Folks Facebook Then & Now page to share memories. “I was at El Bandido the day they opened and Manny treated us like family from day one,” she said. “We’ve had so many family celebrations there are very sad it’s closed.”

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LeMoullec also mentioned, how when she was the PTA Council president for East Ramapo school district, her job was to increase membership so she decided to start having their meetings at El Bandido and their membership tripled.

For Chestnut Hill’s Steven Schloss, who’s been going to the restaurant for 35 years, it’s a real shame. “The service was always great, the staff was always friendly and the food was delicious.

“We really had great times.”

More than 200 comments on the Clarkstown Community Facebook page echoed similar sentiments with many sharing memories of birthdays and the restaurant’s “banging chimichangas.”

El Bandido isn’t the only one citing rising rent and financial issues as reasons for closing.

In Sparkill, Denis Whitton, a longtime Rockland restaurateur, closed his short-lived speakeasy on June 8 while Hartell’s Jukebox Deli in Upper Nyack posted its demise in a Facebook post June 29. “Happy Summer Everyone,” it reads. “Thank you for your support and kindness. We will post when we find a new location.”

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Got food news?

Know of an opening or closing? Email JRMuchnick@gannett.com.

Jeanne Muchnick covers food and dining. Click here for her most recent articles and follow her latest dining adventures on Instagram @jeannemuchnick or via the lohudfood newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Financial reasons behind closing of 48-year-old Rockland restaurant





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