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Mexican food goes underground in Astoria

Patzcuaro Cafe joins a collection of businesses in an underground mall remade in the likeness of old Astoria
By Edward Stratton

The Daily Astorian

Published on May 3, 2018 8:03PM

The Campuzano family will open Pazcuaro Cafe in the center space of an underground mall in the Sanborn Building at 10th Street and Marine Drive.

Edward Stratton/The Daily Astorian

The Campuzano family will open Pazcuaro Cafe in the center space of an underground mall in the Sanborn Building at 10th Street and Marine Drive.

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Carmen Campuzano, second from lower right, is opening a Mexican restaurant in Astoria with the help of her husband, Victor, lower right, and daughters Paola, upper left, and Marycarmen, second from lower left.

The Daily Astorian

Carmen Campuzano, second from lower right, is opening a Mexican restaurant in Astoria with the help of her husband, Victor, lower right, and daughters Paola, upper left, and Marycarmen, second from lower left.

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A Seaside family is starting a new Mexican restaurant in the basement mall of the Sanborn Building on Marine Drive and 10th Street.

Matriarch Carmen Campuzano said her family is still building out the space but hopes to open Patzcuaro Cafe in June or July. The restaurant will serve traditional food from Patzcuaro, her family’s hometown in the Mexican state of Michoacan.

The Campuzanos were profiled by The Daily Astorian in 2015 after their truck and trailer were stolen from a California inn on their way to Mexico to visit family. The truck was burned, and the Campuzanos were out $30,000 worth of items they had been bringing to family.

They are still recovering from the episode, Campuzano said, but the community has been generous.

Campuzano moved to the United States in 1991. She has worked at several restaurants around Cannon Beach and owned a furniture store, but said this is her first time as a restaurateur.

Patzcuaro Cafe will be a family affair. Campuzano’s husband, Victor, is building furniture and helping with maintenance. Her daughter, Marycarmen, will bake, while her youngest daughter, Paola, will help with the paperwork and serving during breaks from college.

“It’s a little scary,” Campuzano said of opening a restaurant. “I feel like I want to do it, because that way I’m going to open the door for my daughters to do something other than just be employees.”

Patzcuaro Cafe will join a collection of businesses in the Sanborn Building’s basement, remodeled in the early 2000s by the late arts and education advocate Michael Foster into a wood-paneled recreation of historic downtown Astoria. The basement has a central courtyard and an original lantern from John Jacob Astor’s hometown of Walldorf, Germany, hanging on a beam.

The cafe space was previously occupied by Michael’s Antiques & Art Gallery, and before that the Windsor House of Tea, which closed during the Great Recession.

Surrounding the restaurant are a counseling office, art studio, a massage therapist, the United Way of Clatsop County and The Cellar on 10th, a wine shop and anchor tenant of the underground mall since 2002.

“This is the first time since the downstairs opened that it’s been fully occupied,” said Mike Wallis, the owner of the wine shop.



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