It’s hard enough to make it as a restaurant in Westport.
The last thing you need is a 2-year construction project next door.
Unless, added to that, is the unfounded rumor that you’re going to close.
That’s what’s happening to Villa del Sol.
The popular, family-oriented Mexican spot now shares Elm Street with dust and construction vehicles. When Bedford Square is completed, it will be a boon to the area — and Villa del Sol will benefit.
But it won’t be easy getting there.
The restaurant opened in 1998. While not as long as a previous place — Werner’s — 17 years is still “forever” in restaurant terms.
Owner Joe Osorio emigrated from Mexico at age 23. His background was in engineering, but in the US he entered the restaurant business. He had his own place in Rockland County for a couple of decades.
Westport’s Villa del Sol is quite a place. All the furnishings — tables, chairs, artwork — come direct from Mexico. Joe made many trips south, bringing it all back piece by piece.
Joe’s daughters — Jennifer and Colleen — were always involved in the restaurant. He fought pancreatic cancer for 2 years, and worked until just 3 days before his death, in 2011. The daughters then took over.
Their children all help out now too. Jennifer’s husband, Fili Molina, has been the chef since opening day.
The customers are like family too. “They’ve been coming for years,” Jennifer says. “Before they sit down, their drink is front of them.”
The crowd includes plenty of families. Kids and adults alike love the menu — a combination of classic Mexican dishes, and contemporary Nuevo Latino ones.
“We’ve watched everyone grow up,” Colleen says. “And we’ll keep doing it, for years to come.”
Despite the noise, the debris, and the incorrect rumor that Villa del Sol will close.
See you there soon. Hey, Cinco de Mayo is Tuesday!