The restaurant menu at East Highway 120 and Button Avenue is set to change after May 5.
After more than a decade’s presence at this busy corner on the east side of Highway 99’s northbound on-ramp, Perko’s Café will close for good beginning Saturday, May 6.
But although it’s closing its doors at this location, Perko’s is not really saying farewell to Manteca, said restaurant manager Terri McConnell in a telephone interview Friday.
“We’re not leaving Manteca permanently. We’re going to be at the Del Webb area,” McConnell happily announced.
Another tenant is already lined up to take over the restaurant building after Perko’s moves out. McConnell said Perko’s will be replaced by a Black Bear restaurant.
Without specifically pinpointing the exact location, McConnell said the Perko’s franchise restaurant will be constructing a brand-new building at its new location. They already “got all the permits” necessary to get the construction started; however, “it will take about a year” for the building project to be completed and for the restaurant to open its doors for business.
The closure of the restaurant is “difficult,” she said, for a number of reasons.
“We got a lot of customers that are very upset, and we’re very upset,” McConnell said.
For one thing, the roughly one-year period between the closure of the restaurant at its current location and the opening of the brand-new building will mean the jobs of their 20 to 25 employees will be impacted. However, McConnell assured that some of the workers will be moved to other Perko’s restaurants in the area. The nearest Perko’s outside of Manteca are located in Salida and Tracy.
“We’re trying to find places for as many of the girls as we can,” the manager said.
The change will be hard for a number of the employees, especially those who have been working there for a long time. “Some of the girls have been working here for 14 years,” said McConnell who has been manager at the café for the last five years.
Some of those who will be missing Perko’s are groups such as the Manteca Republican Women’s Federation which has been using the restaurant’s facility for their meetings. In an e-mail communication between Federation president Linda Silverman and member Dorthy Mack, it was determined that the May 21 meeting of the group will take place at Chez Shari restaurant on the second floor of the Manteca Golf Course on Union Road. “The Deli is open and has a very good menu, as good as Perko’s,” Mack informed the members.
The other decision that Federation members will have to make is whether they will meet in the Godfather Room of Chez Shari or in the Deli area. Cost is one of the deciding factors. The membership is expected to decide where they are going to meet in September. There are no meetings scheduled for July and August.
McConnell said the restaurant has to abandon its current location because they “can’t come to an agreement” in their “negotiations with the landlord” about the rent. She did not provide further details about the failed negotiation.
Perko’s will maintain its regular business hours up to the last day of their operation on East Highway 120. The restaurant will be open as usual for breakfast at 5:30 a.m. Closing time on Friday and Saturday is 9:30 p.m.; from Sunday to Thursday, it is 9 p.m.
According to the franchise restaurant’s web site, Perko’s Café has 35 restaurant locations throughout California. It also describes this dining destination as “an upscale family restaurant catering to local tastes” and that food is prepared on site.