Posts tagged casa de bandini

“It’s The Umbrellas…”

Casa de Pico Mexican Restaurant Umbrellas

“The Umbrellas”

When you think of Casa de Pico Mexican Restaurant what do you think of first (besides the award winning margaritas)? The number one answer: the colorful umbrellas.

As many of you know, Casa de Pico (a.k.a. Pico) opened its doors in 1971 in Old Town. Many of the regulars, and out of town visitors, entered via Juan Street. If you were fortunate you’d get a parking space in the small parking lot, but most of us parked on the street and made the short walk to the opening in the fence that bordered Pico. What struck your first, what you couldn’t miss, what people loved to look at, what they loved to sit under, were those colorful umbrella. Like every detail at every restaurant Diane Power owns and operates, the umbrellas were always clean and never faded. They symbolized everything that Pico offered: quality. And Pico flourished their for years. Tourists, conventioneers and San Diego residents all associated Pico with the umbrellas. And came back again and again.

Fast forward to 2005. Diane loses her lease after 25 years. But if you know Diane you know she is tenacious and committed to her restaurants. Casa Guadalajara which had opened in 1995 stayed in Old Town. She found new homes for the two of them that were forced to relocate. Casa de Bandini went north to Carlsbad and Casa de Pico went East to La Mesa. And the Pico umbrellas went east to La Mesa as well. And the people followed. If you live in San Diego east of the 15 freeway you probably are like the majority and don’t go to La Mesa often, if at all. The umbrellas have changed that. Many San Diegans now head east on the 8 freeway and see the still beautiful and colorful umbrellas in the Grossmont Center.

Pico is located at 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa. Call us at 619-463-3267. We’re celebrating our 40th Anniversary for seven months, so ask what the specials are when you arrive. Come and enjoy the food, the mariachi music, the festive atmosphere, the birdbath margarita’s…and the umbrellas. You’ll be so glad you did. And for our loyal followers, thank you for being so faithful to us over the years. We appreciate each and every one of you.

To see our menu, get directions and learn more about the best La Mesa Mexican Restaurant, go to


Bazaar del Mundo: 3 Cinco de Mayo Parties at Casa de Pico, Casa Guadalajara and Casa de Bandini. Which One Are you Going To?



Bazaar del Mundo Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

What do Regis Philbin and Diane Powers Have in Common?

Regis Philbin

Regis Philbin

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Regis Philbin has logged over 17,000 hours of air time on television, the most in history. At 80 years young he still has that twinkle in his eye and is quick with a laugh. He exudes enjoyment of his profession and kindness to those who have watched him for so many years.

So what do Regis and Casa de Pico owner Diane Powers have in common: consistency. After more than 40 years of being a business leader in San Diego, Diane still has that same twinkle and the same enthusiasm to provide the best San Diego Mexican restaurant dining experience at her three thriving restaurants: Casa de Pico in La Mesa, Casa de Bandini in Carlsbad and Casa Guadalajara in Old Town. After 40 years of ownership, her commitment to her shops in Bazaar del Mundo is also as strong as ever.

Consistency has always been the hallmark of champions. Whether it be the star athlete who stays on the practice field longer than his teammates, the lead violinist in the symphony that practices while others sleep, or the business owner who works day after day with a smile and a determination inside to be the best , these are the people that we admire and respect.

Most business owners would tell you that 40 years of making payroll, committing to leases, dealing with thousands of customers and employees over that amount of time rivals 17,000 hours of smiling at a camera. This year Diane Powers and Casa de Pico, as well as the shops at Bazaar del Mundo, celebrate their 40th anniversaries. All of us at Casa de Pico consider it an honor to work with Diane, and we share her commitment to provide you the finest cuisine at the friendliest Mexican Restaurant in La Mesa.

Thank you Diane for your consistency and your dedication. As we’re sure Regis’ staff tells him, “It’s an honor to work alongside you every day.” We certainly feel the same way.



Casa de Pico: Thriving in La Mesa

Casa de Pico, La Mesa, CA

Casa de Pico, Grossmont Center, La Mesa, CA

Perhaps you’ve had a chance to read the beautiful profile of Casa de Pico owner Diane Powers in today’s San Diego Union Tribune. If you’d like to see the online version you can read it at The article details the challenges Diane faced with her enterprises in Old Town, San Diego. More important, it captures her winning spirit, her professionalism and her ability to persevere. Everyone who visits her restaurants: Casa de Pico in La Mesa, Casa de Bandini in Carlsbad, Casa Guadalajara in Old Town or her Bazaar del Mundo shops right next door to Casa Guadalajara are very thankful that she kept these businesses alive when they were being threatened. She then, along with the help of her husband Brent, relocated three of the four businesses, including Casa de Pico, and they are flourishing and visitors are as happy as ever.

Casa de Pico was relocated to La Mesa, CA, which is east of downtown San Diego and is referred to as being in “East County” in 2005. After a short hiatus, Brent spotted the opportunity to re-open “Pico” in the Grossmont Center in La Mesa. The trademark multi-colored umbrellas adorn the patio and are a welcome sight to anyone that enjoyed Pico in Old Town. There is plenty of patio seating, a very large and beautifully decorated dining section, a Cantina area where Happy Hour is held from 3-7 Monday-Friday, and another outdoor patio area just off of the Cantina.

The Casa de Pico management team of Julie Bell Gastelum and Lino Rodarte move heaven and earth to make sure that every visitor has an enjoyable experience. Parties of all sizes can be accommodated. It’s amazing what they’ve been able to do when large parties show up without reservations. They’re not turned away, Julie and Lino find a way to make it work and have the guests have a memorable evening.

Casa de Pico serves lunch and dinner daily, breakfast meetings are also held there and any group wanting to meet over breakfast is welcome. Parties of all kinds are held regularly at Pico: birthday’s, wedding rehearsal dinners, baby showers…we welcome the chance to make your event special.

Did we mention our Guacamole was voted the best in San Diego last month in a blind taste test? San Diego Magazine awarded us the honor and we know you’ll love it when you have it with chips or with any of our entrees. Come and enjoy all we have to offer. We’re located at 5500 Grossmont Drive at the Grossmont Center in La Mesa. You can reach us by phone at 619-463-3267. For a more detailed introduction to Casa de Pico visit our website at

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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