The historic bank building at South B Street and Second Avenue in downtown San Mateo is back in business.

The restaurant business, that is.

Just months after Vault 164 closed, an upscale restaurant, Dahlia Mexican Grill, is opening in this renovated space.

“Timing the launch of Dahlia Mexican Grill during a pandemic is more significant to us than ever,” restaurateur-partner Saeed Azad said in announcing the grand opening and ribbon cutting. “We are able to provide jobs, contribute to the local economy and bring hope to the hospitality industry — as well as provide excitement to the local community.”

Built in 1925, this Beaux Arts edifice designed by William M. Weeks was a Crocker bank for decades before becoming a billiards hall and then — thanks to a redesign that preserved its historical and architectural integrity — a restaurant.

Executive chef Gerardo Garcia will focus on contemporary Mexican cuisine and elevated classics. Look for Lump Crab Empanadas, Bacalao Negro Cabo San Lucas (banana-leaf-wrapped black cod), the Parrillada de Antojitos mixed grill, Pan-Fried Pescado Veracruzano and Barbacoa Hidalgo, with a Modelo-pepper sauce.

The full bar will feature signature margaritas such as the Jalapeño Tamarindo, Prickly Pear and Mango Habanero; craft cocktails including an Aged Brazilian Daiquiri; a curated line of tequilas and mezcals; and a house-made sangria that blends red wine, brandy, banana liqueur and pineapple and orange juices.

Dahlia will offer both indoor and outdoor dining but, because of coronavirus guidelines, seating will be first come, first served.

The restaurant will be open daily for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends. Happy hour will be offered daily from 3 to 7 p.m.

Details: 164 South B St., San Mateo; 650-348-8164. www.dahliamexicangrill.com


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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