The owners of El Porteño Chifa Peruana, the Excelsior-based restaurant that's not to be confused with El Porteño Empanadas, have just made two big investments in Mission restaurant real estate.
As Mission Local has it, El Porteño owners Sylvia and Victor Ormeño, who have been running their restaurant at 5173 Mission Street for seven years, just completed the purchase of the Bissap Baobab building and liquor license for $2.2 million total, and they've also bought the space that Alba Ray's is operating in for $1.65 million.
Alba Ray's remains open, and the restaurant's reps report that its lease remains in place and it isn't going anywhere. As Eater reported last week the New Orleans-themed restaurant has ceased dinner service temporarily and is now just doing weekend brunch — with bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys, and frozen Irish coffees. The restaurant is reportedly reconcepting, and plans to relaunch dinner service in the fall after making some changes.
We had already heard about a "Peruvian family" that was negotiating to purchase Baobab when the story broke that it would be closing. Baobab owner Marco Senghor just pleaded guilty in a case brought by ICE regarding the validity of a marriage that Senghor used to gain citizenship over a decade ago — and selling the building may have been his way of covering his legal expenses.
The Ormeños have not yet publicly discussed their plans for either space, and it's possible, given their proximity to each other, that the Baobab space may become a new restaurant while the Alba Ray's property is just an investment.
Correction: This post has been corrected to show that Alba Ray's has no plans to move, and will resume dinner service as planned.