La Golondrina Café on Olvera Street has been around since the 1930s, but it has faced an uphill battle with trying to reopen since the pandemic.
"We're in a battle with the city and we're gonna open as soon as we can."
That's what Bertha Gomez tells visitors to Olvera Street when they ask her about the historic restaurant.
Generations of families have visited to enjoy the food and live mariachi music while celebrating weddings, baptisms, and quinceañeras. It closed during the pandemic and has remained closed.
The Gomez family took over the restaurant in 2022. There are some major financial obstacles the family faces in reopening including a $242,000 bill for back rent that they say an L.A. commission ordered them to pay.
"We have asked the commission many times, in written form and verbally, to give us an opportunity to discuss this and it has gone nowhere."
The City of Los Angeles runs Olvera Street, but the family points out that there are some major plumbing issues that need to be repaired in the 166-year-old building.
But who's responsible for making the repairs? That's something currently moving through the court system.
The Gomez family has a long history at Olvera Street. They've run a candy shop there for nearly 75 years.
"We're just one of many small shops here that need their big staple restaurant, that brings in the crowd back... or else it's starting to create a little bit of a ghost town here at Olvera Street," said David Gomez, Bertha's son.
L.A. City Councilman Kevin de León represents Olvera Street. Eyewitness News reached out but haven't heard back from his office on the future of the restaurant.
The owners are optimistic that this will all be resolved. They say it'll take them at least three months - once they get the go-ahead - to reopen the restaurant.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help.