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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

After 61 years, Longhorn Charcoal Pit restaurant closes in Sunnyvale

The Longhorn Charcoal Pit has served its last steak sandwich.

Sixty-one years after opening, the Longhorn closed at the end of business Sunday, with development plans on the horizon for the Fremont Corners Center at Fremont Avenue and Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road.

Owners Dave and Jean Han, who have run the Old West-themed restaurant for the past 30 years, posted a note of thanks to customers.

...the Hans held out hope that they would reopen elsewhere.

“This may not be the last time you see us. We intend to remain in the area and may continue in the restaurant business,” they wrote.

Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein made a point of eating at the Longhorn during his pandemic campaign to support local businesses. He reviewed more than 100 restaurants.

“This is a classic diner experience from the past, with wagon wheel chandeliers, Western paraphernalia, and John Wayne photos on the wall,” he wrote in his account. “I ordered their steak sandwich and fries for lunch. This was an old-school lunch, with steak cooked exactly as I ordered, with lettuce, tomatoes and onions between a fresh bun. It was filling and just like I remembered.”

According to Mercury News archives, the Longhorn opened in 1960, making it one of the longest-running restaurants in the city.

A “village center” concept is envisioned for this massive commercial property, one that would combine medium-density housing with mixed-use development.

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