La Victoria: Already a memory

Hayward High sophomore and frequent HayWord commentor Alex Harmon took some fine photos of the former La Victoria restaurant at Mission Boulevard and D Street, which was razed last month to make way for the Downtown Loop. This is one of many, the rest are available on Alex’s flickr site. Alex is a prolific photographer, so you’ll probably have to search for “La Victoria” to find them.

Says Alex: “I pass by the La Victoria’s almost every day and saw it get torn down. I had my camera with me and started taking photos of the building. The mural on the building was my favorite mural in downtown Hayward and I think it should have been saved or moved.”

Here’s an old but good story by Matt O’Brien about the history of the loop project, with accompanying interactive presentation.

Eric Kurhi

  • Thanks!

  • Kim Santos

    I was bummed to see that mural go.

  • Alex, thanks for documenting this. Ricardo Daniel Gonzalez was the muralist. I talked to him four years ago after calling a phone number listed on the mural. Not having predicted the advent of cell phones when he painted “Rancho San Lorenzo”, he would sometimes get calls from passersby at odd hours. “I guess now, they just get it out and call me,” he told me in spring 2005. “It makes me feel good. They are like vitamins to keep me going.”

  • I got the phone number before the art was gone.

  • Fernando Hernandez

    Not that I get out and about all that much, but…

    Mr. Gonzalez’ work can also be seen in the interiors of La Piñata #1, on Mission Blvd. in north Hayward, a relatively small painting with a theme not unlike the now destroyed mural.

    And at Tito’s restaurant in San Leandro, on E 14th across from Bay fair mall, where there is a very large mural painting with a Mayan theme, a ball court scene if memory serves me right, the full lenght of the bar!

    Somebody should make sure Mr. Gonzalez’ work through the years is documented for future generations, my suspicion is that he has done more work that you can shake a stick at,

    Last time I saw him touching up the ravages of time on the mural at La Victoria was about a decade ago, he must be close to if not in his 90’s by now!

  • Does anyone else remember when the buliding was called “Pablito’s”?

    Does Mr. Gonzalez know that the Rancho San Lorenzo mural is gone now?

  • monica ruiz

    Yes, I remember when it was Pablitos. My husband and I used to eat delicious Mexican food there. I especially liked the crab enchiladas. We only went to La Victoria once and it just wasn’t the same.Do you remember La Estrella? It was a taqueria on Watkins across the street from the library. There is a book at the Hayward Historial Museum that documents the murals of Hayward.

  • cwbyht

    I remember the whole block in the 80s That walk up taqueria that was so busy. Rafas lounge with great Mexican music. Across the street was El Coca Del Caribe with live salsa music. Another club next door with live country music.

    Friday nights that whole block was hopping! The good ole days.

  • qodrn

    I am sure I have missed a few, but on Mission AJ’s has been torn down, the former Toys for Boys Store and the former Bobby Lee’s site. When you add in the closed business, boy does Mission look abandoned. I think some of these things happened due to the Foothill bypass thing. But Now I heard that there may not be enough money to build the thing due to economy and interest changes. Goody, Goody. Maybe we could lease some of the empty lots to those glad growers that used to be in Union City.