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Silver Lake's Iconic El Conquistador Is Closing

Photo via El Conquistador on Facebook
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Looks like another iconic L.A. restaurant might bite the dust. This time it's Silverlake's El Conquistador, a Mexican joint thats sits on oh-so-hot right now real estate on Sunset Boulevard. It's anticipated that the eatery will close its doors by January 2014, which also marks the restaurant's 40th anniversary.

Though the food was never outrageously good, we have many a fond memory (or lack thereof) of guzzling down stiff margaritas during their happy hour and the flamboyant decor that got even more festive during the holiday season.

Says Eastsider L.A.:

It’s not clear how much rent the new landlord, identified as Sunset Triangle Partners, demanded. But at the end of last year, the eastern section of the block that includes El Conquistador and the adjacent Fandango Salon and the former Naya Indian restaurant sold for $4.8 million, according to online property tax records.
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There is rumor that the kitschy El Conquistador will make way for a more trendy, modern hipster restaurant, possibly an Italian joint with a name chef.

Another element of uncertainty is the fate of all the folks who were life staffers at the restaurant. Many started out working at the Eastside restaurant as teenagers and are now middle-aged with families. Some are even grandparents. How will they fit into the new regime, if at all?

El Conquistador was also unique because, as LA Weekly pointed out, the restaurant is "not only Latino-owned, it's gay-owned. And though regulars come in from all walks of life, there's always been a notable gay clientele."

So while there may finally be some good Italian eats in the area, its definitely losing a unique gem.