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History

Lucy and Isaac Mejía, January 2012

Don Pico’s first opened its doors for business in 1975 when Isaac and Herlinda Mejía, longtime residents of San Bruno and immigrants from the Mexican State of Sonora, decided to go into the restaurant business. Back then, Herlinda did all the cooking, using time-tested authentic family recipes she learned in Mexico, and Isaac ran the front of the house. Through the years, the entire family became involved in running the business, including Isaac and Herlinda’s son, Chef Isaac Mejía.

In 1999, Isaac and his bride Lucy took over the ownership and management of the restaurant. Isaac brightened the look of the restaurant, updated the kitchen, and added his own mouth-watering seafood selections to the traditional Mexican dishes. In 2001, Isaac moved back to San Bruno with Lucy and their baby daughter, Francesca.

Ten years later, in 2011, after a three-month remodel, Isaac and Lucy fulfilled their dream of expanding Don Pico’s to the adjoining space, including a full-service bar and an expanded cevicheria, creating a unique and exciting new gathering place in San Bruno. Tragically, Isaac lost his life in a vehicle accident in September of 2012. Lucy decided to honor her husband’s legacy by preserving the restaurant he loved as “a place where friends gather to celebrate life.”

The décor at Don Pico’s was carefully selected to create the feeling of a long-established business, using furniture and art which Chef Isaac collected over the years: the back bar in the new dining room is a 1925 mahogany Brunswick from the Cliff House in San Francisco; the large bullfight mural is an original painting by Roberto Leroy Smith; large mirrors came from Harry Denton’s; the chandeliers are of Austrian crystal, from the World Trade Center at the San Francisco Ferry Building; the trophy fish are from Bing Crosby’s private collection; the large elephant, floral, and deer paintings are from the movie Citizen Kane with Orson Welles; the sombreros are 1920s antiques from a Mexican hat collection acquired from Universal Studios; and the stylized modern art paintings are by California painter Rudy Hess.

The goal of Don Pico’s continues to be to provide our customers with the highest quality in our signature dishes, presented as our own interpretation of Ranch-style cooking. This means a commitment to using the freshest and finest ingredients possible. And if something isn’t right, let us know, and we’ll make it right.

We believe that when we put this much love and attention into our cooking, it comes through in the food. The classic traditional presentation of our comfort food, our friendly service and our affordable pricing make Don Pico’s one of the most beloved restaurants in the Bay Area. Thank you for honoring us with your patronage. ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy your meal!

~ Lucy & Francesca Mejia