The Pickle Patch Deli has won awards and made headlines throughout its 22 years of serving hungry lunch-breakers and hosting special events in San Andreas. Now, the beloved restaurant and outdoor venue is on the market for $995,000.
Owner Gretel Tiscornia, who transformed the 1,300-square-foot adobe house and acre of land on West Saint Charles Street into the garden cafe it is today, said the COVID-19 pandemic had little to do with her decision to sell.
“I just have been here too long. I’m worn out,” Tiscornia said. The 49-year-old wife and mother can’t remember going one month without working a day in the restaurant business. “It needs some fresh blood or fresh ideas.”
Tiscornia hopes to sell to a couple or professional partners who can run the restaurant as a team, expand its hours and explore new additions such as live entertainment or wine tasting.
“It’s too much work for one person,” she said. “I want it to be somebody that will make it successful.”
Whoever purchases the property will acquire the restaurant in its entirety and something else perhaps equally valuable—the mentorship of Tiscornia herself.
“It’s a complete ready-to-use canvas for somebody. They can come in and do really great things without having to do all the work of creating it,” she said. “I’m willing to help them and do what I can to make them be successful, because I would like the Pickle Patch to stay here another 20 years. But it needs to be somebody young who can put the time in.”
With the restaurant and its 10 employees weathering the pandemic, providing takeout service throughout the stay-at-home order and now bustling with regular diners again, Tiscornia believes the Pickle Patch is the perfect opportunity for someone who wants to run their own business.
“It’s either a terrible time to sell or a good time,” she said. She hopes that uncertain times may bring more interest from people who are seeking to move out of the city.
Meanwhile, Tiscornia is looking forward to her own future beyond the restaurant business. Her boutique store, Mingo’s on Main in Angels Camp, will continue serving sandwiches from the Pickle Patch on certain days of the week, so long as the new owners choose to do so.
Though Tiscornia has described her retail business as a “retirement job,” she may choose to continue catering events in the future or work alongside the new Pickle Patch owners to help establish their catering service.
Either way, Tiscornia is eager to move on to something new, though many have voiced disappointment with her decision to sell the restaurant.
“It’s just time. I want to do something else with my life,” she said. Yet Tiscornia can’t bring herself to simply walk away from the iconic San Andreas eatery—the fruit of more than two decades of imagination, dedication and expansion.
“I think, for the town, it should stay the same,” she said. “I’m able to be somewhat helpful and work with the new owners, which is going to be a benefit, I think.”