City Manager’s monthly message: San Gabriel welcomes new restaurants

Dear San Gabriel,

It’s been an eventful month in the City. First, I want to acknowledge two retiring members of our City family: Finance Director Tom Marston and Fire Chief Derrick Doehler. I’m grateful to both of them for their dedicated service to the City over the last several years and I hope everyone joins me in honoring their combined 50 years of service to the community. Congratulations to both on a well earned retirement.

Now, here’s a look at the latest updates from our City:

City Clerk

  • Our Chief City Clerk Sharon Clark and our Assistant City Clerk Marilyn Bonus recently hosted a tour of City Hall and the Mission Playhouse for 18 seventh-grade students from the San Gabriel Mission. During this tour, students had the opportunity to learn about the City and what each department does to contribute to our community. Special thanks goes out to teacher Cynthia Valencia for giving us the opportunity to teach our local community about the impact of local government.

Community Services

  • As we approach Build Day tomorrow morning, our staff at Community Services has been hard at work preparing Smith Park for our new playground. With the help of The CarMax Foundation, KaBOOM!, the Asian Youth Center and our Public Works staff, Smith Park saw the delivery of tools for tomorrow’s event. In addition to building the new playground, volunteers will also enhance Smith Park with new shade structures for benches, new paint along Smith Park Pool’s fence, new paint for the handball courts and new drought-tolerant plants near the playground. We can’t wait to see the finished result!
  • In addition, I’m happy to note that Community Services has a new electronic newsletter that will highlight upcoming programs, classes and events that the department is offering. For more information about this newsletter (along with instructions on how to subscribe), please click here.

Community Development

  • Last week, the San Gabriel Community Foundation held a planning session facilitated by former City Manager Steve Preston. Board members and advisors were given a survey that was later used to discuss the foundation’s future. Over the next several months, the board will be meeting to discuss increasing the foundation’s funding, expanding the leadership of the board and the widening the scope of funding given to charitable causes.
  • BOPOMOFO is now open at 841 West Las Tunas Drive, with an official grand opening anticipated in the coming weeks. The name of the new boba café comes from the phonetic symbols that are often described as the phonetic symbols of Mandarin. If you’re near the area, we hope you’ll stop by.
  • Breakfast, anyone? We’re happy to welcome a breakfast restaurant in town! Delicious Food Corner, located at 545 West Las Tunas Drive, received its certificate of occupancy in late January and is already drawing a crowd. Their menu serves traditional Hong Kong-style breakfast along with several egg dishes, toast and condensed milk, with options for lunch and dinner as well. To learn more, click here.
  • In late February, our team from Community Development met with AECOM to discuss the new Mission District study that aims to revitalize the City’s historic core. After the meeting, our very own Economic Development Manager Angelica Frausto-Lupo led the AECOM team on a tour of the Mission District, including a look at City-owned assets such as the McGroarty buildings, the Mission Playhouse and the parking lots.

Mission Playhouse

  • Our staff from the Mission Playhouse met with Vivian Chan last week to discuss this year’s APA Fest, which will be held on May 25 and 26. This year’s event is slated to host two symposiums, one of which will include the film “Crazy Rich Asians.” The event will also include a music and dance performance that will allow local students and groups to tell their stories. The United Charity Foundation will once again sponsor the event with $25,000 – more information about this event will be released as it develops.
  • For the fourth year in a row, the Mission Playhouse is pleased to welcome a grant from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission for a summer intern. The Historical Archive/Costume Collection internship is a full-time, 10-week paid position that focuses on the Playhouse’s archive of programs and letters dating from 1911 to 1950. You can read about our previous interns here.

Public Works

  • In addition to our planned improvements to Smith Park on Build Day, I’m happy to report that Vincent Lugo Park recently saw the delivery of eight picnic tables and a BBQ pit!
  • Streets, streets, streets: road rehabilitation work has recently begun at San Marino and Broadway, and design work has begun for improvements at the intersections of Las Tunas Drive and Mission, Las Tunas Drive and Del Mar Avenue, Las Tunas Drive and Country Club and Live Oak Avenue and San Gabriel Boulevard.


  • Congratulations to Captain Fabian Valdez for graduating from the POST Command College in late February! The Command College is a program designed to prepare law enforcement leaders with innovative leadership principles, strategies that can be used to identify emerging issues and ways to share information.
  • Congratulations to Captain Riki Nakamura for being accepted into the FBI National Academy! The National Academy allows law enforcement – both domestic and international – to learn how to raise the standards of law enforcement and how to bolster cooperation worldwide.

That’s it for this month’s edition. If you’ve volunteered for our Build Day event, I hope to see you tomorrow morning as we help construct San Gabriel’s newest playground!