After 61 years, Longhorn Charcoal Pit restaurant closes in Sunnyvale

A mixed-use development is planned for the Fremont Corners Center in Sunnyvale. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

The Longhorn Charcoal Pit has served its last steak sandwich.

Sixty-one years after opening, the Longhorn closed at the end of business Sunday, with development plans on the horizon for the Fremont Corners Center at Fremont Avenue and Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road.

Owners Dave and Jean Han, who have run the Old West-themed restaurant for the past 30 years, posted a note of thanks to customers.

“We regret not being able to give you more advance notice of our closure, but that should not take away from the immense gratitude we feel having been able to operate this restaurant for so long and the joy we have experienced serving and getting to know many of you. We will miss you!”

But the Hans held out hope that they would reopen elsewhere.

“This may not be the last time you see us. We intend to remain in the area and may continue in the restaurant business,” they wrote.

Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein made a point of eating at the Longhorn during his pandemic campaign to support local businesses. He reviewed more than 100 restaurants.

“This is a classic diner experience from the past, with wagon wheel chandeliers, Western paraphernalia, and John Wayne photos on the wall,” he wrote in his account. “I ordered their steak sandwich and fries for lunch. This was an old-school lunch, with steak cooked exactly as I ordered, with lettuce, tomatoes and onions between a fresh bun. It was filling and just like I remembered.”

  Word Game: Oct. 25, 2021

According to Mercury News archives, the Longhorn opened in 1960, making it one of the longest-running restaurants in the city.

On the 20th anniversary in 1980, owners Peter and Sam Pavlos decided they wanted to give something back to their customers. They rolled back prices. For one day, a $4.59 10-ounce New York steak with salad, baked potato and garlic bread sold for $1.49.  A hot dog went for 30 cents.

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They lost a bundle that day, but for the Pavlos brothers and the members of their families who worked in the restaurant, it was worth it.

“I love these people. The thing I enjoy most is watching people enjoy their food,” Peter Pavlos told the Mercury News at the time. “When they don’t finish, I’m disappointed. It really hurts me.”

A “village center” concept is envisioned …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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