Ray Gallardo stood outside the Casa Gallardo in Westport hoping to go inside for one last dinner. Unfortunately he got there too late. The doors were already closed.
Ray, who founded the restaurant chain in St Louis in the 1970's, told me this was sad, but something he also understood.
Ray says he started Casa Gallardo with the vision of creating a Mexican restaurant with a unique atmosphere and researched many restaurants in California and Texas before coming up with the concept. His restaurants expanded into the southeast US and he sold the chain in 1979 to General Mills.
Now it was Real Mex Inc. of California that owns Casa Gallardo and decided to close down the four restaurants that were left.
As he left Westport Ray Gallardo asked if he could buy a wooden Casa Gallardo sign in the restaurant. The representative from Real Mex said he could have it for free.