Hundreds line up to say goodbye to Hector’s Mexican Food in Millcreek

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(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Hector Uribe poses for a photo outside the drive-thru window at Hector’s Mexican Food in Millcreek, Friday, November 4, 2022.

After 27 years in business, a Mexican restaurant in Millcreek is closing its doors on Saturday – and fans flocked to it for one last meal on Friday.

Hundreds of customers flocked to Hector’s Mexican Food at 2901 E. 3300 South in Millcreek to tell owner Hector Uribe how much they’d miss their namesake restaurant (which some customers once knew as Molca Salsa) would miss.

Uribe said on Friday the drive-thru queues were so long that the average wait time was 2 hours and 45 minutes.

“Some people have waited that long,” Uribe said. “A couple of people texted me and called me and said, ‘We have to go, we have to be with our family, with our kids.’ It was amazing. We are so proud of it and grateful for all the support we have in this community.

Uribe this week posted a notice in the restaurant’s window, telling regulars of the closure.

“We have made the decision to close our doors as we cannot find enough staff to work,” he wrote. “So this Saturday will be our last day. We will all miss you very much and thank you again for all your support.

People posted the notice on social media platforms, prompting others to post their reactions.

A Facebook user, listed as Marron Gard, suggested the family start a food truck and started the hashtag #savehectors. “We cannot lose this beautiful family business,” the post continues. The surfer also posted several photos of the tacos and burritos they bought on Thursday evening.

Another Facebook user, Braydon Johnson, called Hector “the best Mexican food in the state for over 20 years.” He also called Uribe “a saint and had one of the best customer service, food quality, price and environment of any food establishment I have been to. … Go give your love to Hector. The man deserves it.”

“I’m working through the stages of grief with the news this week of Hector’s closure,” said Jon Larsen, Salt Lake City’s transportation manager, wrote on his personal Twitter account. “Some restaurants are really part of the fabric of a community. It’s one of them. They were on our Christmas card distribution list!

Larsen’s comment drew answer from outdoor writer and advocate Katie Boué: “A tragic loss for Millcreek and all of SLC but I heard Hector say he needed a break, and well shoot, he deserves one.”

Uribe said he doesn’t have any plans yet for what he does next, “but don’t discount that. We may possibly appear in the area in the near future. So, something like this may happen again, but for now, we have to close the doors. I hope we will reopen in the near future. … We will return.”

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