Main Street Bistro – a labor of love

Megan Guerra, owner of the two-month-old Main Street Bistro,
says her restaurant is a true labor of love.
Megan Guerra, owner of the two-month-old Main Street Bistro, says her restaurant is a true labor of love.

“My whole family has been involved,” Guerra said. “Over a year ago we heard the Klauers were building this building. We got together with them and heard what the plans were. I thought to myself, ‘If I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it. I’ll regret it, I know.’ It went from there.”

Guerra said she had an idea of how I wanted Main Street Bistro to look. Her father, Al Guerra, and brother Jason helped her put it together, and it turned out just like she wanted.

The family connection gets bigger. Guerra’s mother, Nancy Olivera, works in the restaurant one day a week. So does her sister-in-law, who’s 8 1/2 months pregnant and whose mother, Susie Crum, helped with the menu. Guerra’s sister Danielle works at the restaurant some Saturdays when she can.

Though putting together her own restaurant has been a challenge, it’s one Guerra has thoroughly enjoyed.

“I talked to the Klauers so long ago I had enough time to do research,” she said. “I spent time getting ideas from other places and pricing equipment. Everything else just fell in place, like the paint. I got to a point where I couldn’t decide and the painters said it was time to paint. I told them to go ahead and just do it. The chocolate and vanilla colors are just perfect.

“I wanted mahogany tables and chairs that were easy to clean. I also wanted glass above the counters so people could see we work with fresh ingredients. They can watch us prepare their food and know everything is made to order.”

Though Guerra has worked in both the restaurant and catering businesses, it was not her first career choice.

“I went to Arizona for college,” she said. “I was taking general studies and needed to take a language. I’d already taken Spanish, and some of my family members speak Italian so I choose Italian. Then I was told about a study program in Italy. I went to Florence.”

After her time in Europe, which included extensive traveling, Guerra returned to California. She found herself working in the computer industry in Silicon Valley, but the corporate world wasn’t to her liking. Slowing down was hard for Guerra and she again tried another fast-paced career. But her heart was elsewhere.

“I’ve always enjoyed cooking,” she said. “My great grandmother loved cooking. It was her way of showing she cared. In Italy the food was on display and everything was so fresh. It always looked so colorful. With catering I’ve always loved putting the whole display together. When it’s done it looks so festive and neat.

“What we have here is hearty, fresh food. We use pure ingredients, which is very important to me. If I’m not going to eat it I don’t expect others to.”

Guerra said the spinach salad is the hottest item on the menu.

“I think it’s the dressing,” she said. “My mom’s dad made the best dressing and we use his recipe.”

The chicken breast sandwich and chicken salad sandwiches are popular too, Guerra said, and vegetarians are pleased to see the humus sandwich and grilled eggplant on the menu. Those who want something different to start off their day seem to enjoy the breakfast burrito, which has spinach, cheese and fresh salsa. The hot oatmeal is sprinkled with a choice of cinnamon-raisin or cranberry-walnut. Soups and scones, cookies and brownies are made fresh daily, and Main Street Bistro also has a full coffee bar.

“I love the fact I get up every morning and come here,” Guerra said. “This is a place I want to be a part of every day.”

Main Street Bistro is located at 650 San Benito Street, suite 110. Open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Sunday. For more information or to place orders, call 637-6370.

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