The iconic Sherman Oaks restaurant has created a home for immigrant restaurant workers in the San Fernando Valley

Casa Vega has been a pillar of the Sherman Oaks community for 62 years. While it’s best known as an old-school Mexican restaurant with a celebrity clientele, when the layers get peeled back, there’s much more to this iconic establishment. Casa Vega has long supported generations of immigrant employees, and it’s cultivated such a positive work culture that many of its staff members have stayed with the restaurant for decades.

During Christmastime at Casa Vega, there’s a pine tree adorned with ornaments, each emblazoned with an employee’s name and the number of years they’ve worked there. Casa Vega’s longest-standing worker, Javier Larios, has been there for a whopping 54 years, and there are more than a handful of others who’ve worked nearly as long.

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64 years ago, my father started Casa Vega. It became a place for our community to gather in the best and worst of times. A place for celebrations, reunions, drinks with friends, first dates, weddings and memorials. A place that our beloved customers have made their own. Never is our wildest dreams and worst nightmares, did we ever think we find ourselves unable to welcome our friends and family into our warm home for food, cocktails and comfort.

Casa Vega will be closed temporarily due to COVID-19. I don’t know if this is a few weeks, a month or longer. We are closely monitoring the situation. Once our government officials tell us it is safe to resume bar and restaurants dine-in operations, we will jump to action and open our doors.

My heart is completely broken writing this. I’ve worked every day at Casa Vega for the last 21 years. It is my passion and my love. The hardest part in all of this is knowing how hard this is on our employees, some who have been with us for over 45 years. The storm can’t last forever. The sun will shine again. Casa Vega will reopen. Margaritas will be flowing. I hope to see you back in Casa Vega once it’s safe to come back together. Stay healthy and safe.

With a broken heart,
Christina Vega
President

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