Jose and Eli Sandoval are no strangers to the restaurant business.
When the couple made their home in Mexico City they split time between a full-service eatery and a taqueria – leaving both businesses behind when they moved to Manteca and fell in love with the slow pace of life and the friendly residents.
So when they came back to Manteca after a brief stint in Escalon, both felt the urge to once again cater to customers with their own special recipes for everything from tacos to chocolate – starting the process of finding a suitable space to put down roots.
And they found what they were looking for in Downtown Manteca.
“It was the patio that really got me,” Jose Sandoval said of the building at 216 W. Yosemite – which used to house a fine-dining establishment. “It’s a nice, comfortable place for customers to enjoy. We’re really happy with it.”
The couple opened their doors on Monday, and after placing a table and a pair of chairs outside their front door have seen customers randomly pop in to see the new addition to the city’s mom-and-pop dining lineup.
Coffee Time and Steak – as the sign reads out front – will offer everything from T-bones to breakfasts to homemade desserts.
And for Eli Sandoval, it’s the ability to put a personal touch on the dishes that go out to customers that makes the rigors of opening a new restaurant worth it.
“I like making food the way that I think that people are going to like it,” she said. “I like doing it with my own recipe and my own style – that’s the perk of being the chef.”
It took the couple roughly three months to complete the necessary renovations and touch-ups before they could officially open – the toughest period, Jose Sandoval says, for small business owners.
“You’re spending money and you’ve got bills, bills and more bills,” he said. “You want to open as soon as you can so you can serve your customers.”
But the wait did afford the couple a chance to see how hungry local residents are for new places to try when it comes to dining out.
Every week people would pop in to see whether they had officially opened the doors yet – something that reassured the owners that there were people out there that already knew of their business and were willing to stop in and give it a try.
It’s that sort of interest that attracted the couple to open up shop in Manteca in the first place, and they’re hoping that the relationship only continues to grow.
“I love this location because it’s quiet and there’s not a lot of traffic,” Eli Sandoval said. “The best thing is that we get a lot of people walking by and they want to stop in. That’s what we were hoping for.”
Coffee Time and Steak is located at 216 W. Yosemite Ave. and is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. For additional information call (209) 823-8212.