The year was 1976 and the Haggar family, who had emigrated from Mexico a few years earlier, opened their first restaurant, La Majada, at 226 Harrison St.
The family-run Mexican food establishment closed its doors for good, Monday night, but will continue to operate its satellite location in River Forest, said co-owner Jesse Haggar, 60.
In a telephone interview, Haggar thanked restaurant patrons for supporting the business for so many years.
"We just want to let people know that we don't want to close the doors without telling them we appreciate all their support for 38 years and a week," he said.
Haggar said running the business, which he co-owned with his brother, Hector, 58, was made more difficult by recent personal setbacks in his family. Haggar said his older sister, Rosa Gomez ,died in November 2012, and his mother, Juanita Haggar, died in March 2013.
"She was really overwhelmed by losing her kid and at 93 years of age, she just couldn't handle it," Haggar said.
Trouble with the village over keeping their liquor license after the death of his mother and inability to hold parties and events at the location also made it more difficult to keep the business afloat.
"Oak Park, I'm sorry to say, has really never been very business-friendly," said Haggar, who hopes new leadership on the village board will create a more welcoming environment for small business owners.
"I think the last thing Oak Park needs is another empty place on Harrison," he said.