The city redevelopment agency has loaned a local restaurant $100,000 to help its owners build a new restaurant in the city's downtown redevelopment area.
The City Council, acting as the redevelopment agency, approved the 10-year loan to Rose Hadjis and Leroy Bradley, co-owners of El Sombrero restaurant, which has operated in the city for 40 years.
City Planning Director Harold Johanson said the city hopes the loan will provide incentives for other restaurants to move into the downtown area. "We'd consider just about any sit-down restaurant," he said, adding that El Monte needs more family-style restaurants. "Right now, we have every fast-food franchise ever created," Johanson said.
Hadjis and Bradley also have taken out a $250,000 bank loan to finance the planned restaurant, which will be on Santa Anita Avenue, about 100 feet from the site of the present restaurant on Granada Avenue. Johanson said construction probably will start early next year.
The new El Sombrero will be part of a $4-million redevelopment project planned for Santa Anita Avenue. The city has received $5 million in federal funds for redevelopment, and $1 million of that has been earmarked to help Beverly Hills developer Lloyd Sobel finance the project.