The Cambrian

New owners plan gradual change at Cambria’s Las Cambritas

Theresa, Olivia and Miguel de Alba outside Las Cambritas in Cambria’s East Village on Tuesday, Aug. 8.
Theresa, Olivia and Miguel de Alba outside Las Cambritas in Cambria’s East Village on Tuesday, Aug. 8.

Las Cambritas Restaurant, 2336 Main St. in Cambria’s East Village, has new owners, but they’re certainly not new to restaurant patrons on the North Coast.

Miguel and Theresa de Alba — who also own the Manta Rey and Sunset Grill restaurants in San Simeon — closed escrow on July 25 for Las Cambritas, he said. The de Albas bought the longtime Mexican restaurant from Rick and Debra Wemple, who had owned it since 2002.

The de Albas will share management duties at Las Cambritas and Manta Rey, Miguel de Alba said Monday, Aug. 7, but his wife plans to spend more time at the San Simeon restaurant. His brother Gerardo de Alba runs Sunset Grill.

There’ll be some changes at Las Cambritas, Miguel de Alba said, but they’ll be slight and gradual. “We’re slowly changing things around … taking baby steps, changing some of the recipes” and adding new things to the menu.”

For a while, each week, “we’ll try to add one new item,” he said. “But we’re not changing things drastically.”

For instance, they’ve just added lobster enchiladas with roasted poblano sauce.

Sunday afternoon music on the patio will continue. Slow Burners is set to appear from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 13, according to Las Cambritas manager Jerry Baker, and flamenco guitar virtuoso Jon Stephen will continue to entertain inside from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

The restaurant has a full bar.

De Alba declined to disclose what they paid for the restaurant, saying they’d agreed to the Wemples’ requirement for nondisclosure of the financial information.

Baker said the Wemples moved to Klondike, Texas.

The restaurant’s location has been a Mexican restaurant for decades. Before becoming Las Cambritas, some of its other iterations included Rosa’s Cantina and Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant. The site also was the original location for Cookie Crock Market.

And that’s another link: For more than two decades, Miguel de Alba worked at Cookie Crock, and has been the manager of the wine and liquor department for some time. But he recently decided that he’ll leave that longtime job, what with owning three restaurants now and having a family.

The de Albas have two daughters, Brianna, 7, and Olivia, 5.