When Mark and Jeannette Pulido opened the doors to their new business on Friday, April 19, friends and family created a quaint crowd for its soft-opening weekend.
What was expected to be the same light crowd that Monday, though, was anything but.
“I thought Monday we would say we’re open and tell people our hours—but we got hit so hard, it was like we were blindsided,” Jeannette recalled.
When a friend working at the San Benito County Superior Court told Jeannette about 100 jurors were there that morning, she said, “Send them our way,” not realizing the repercussions of her offer.
“We were kicking out sandwiches 45 minutes later; we had people out the door waiting to get in,” Jeannette said.
Nightly runs to the store helped them through that first week, but now—more than a month later—“we’re getting in a rhythm and can kind of predict,” she said. “And if we get those large orders, we just ask if they call or email in advance.”
There is a reason why 4th Street Eatery (appropriately named after its location at 330 Fourth St.) has already established a strong following—sitting at a prime location in downtown Hollister, the eatery offers customers a unique menu locals haven’t seen in town.
“It was my husband that kind of kicked up that idea,” Jeannette said. “I thought it would do great because Hollister really doesn’t have something like what we have—a coffee/sandwich shop. I worked in Santa Cruz, and you see coffee sandwich shops everywhere there on Pacific Avenue.”
Freshly prepared breakfast burritos and breakfast sandwiches are served from opening until 10:30am, while a variety of sandwiches, hotdogs, paninis, wraps and salads are sold from 11am to closing. The eatery also sells bagels and has a full coffee bar in the morning, featuring coffee from Verve Coffee Roasters.
“We are definitely not that full-on restaurant,” Jeannette explained. “I don’t want to say we’re deli-style, but we wanted to keep things a little bit more simple.”
Simple, but not short on quality.
Along with Verve coffee, the eatery uses Le Boulanger bread for all its sandwiches. And other than its salads—which are prepared fresh every morning—nothing on the menu is premade.
“That was our thing, making sure that we keep that fresh key on everything we do here,” she said. “That is something that is across the board on our menu.”
Customers will notice recognizable names for some of the lunch sandwiches, too.
All of the sandwiches, most of which Mark says were named by Jeannette, pull some local signifiers into their monikers. The Benito sandwich, for instance, is made with pesto, chicken, artichoke hearts and havarti cheese on panini bread. And the Baler features ham, turkey, salami, provolone cheese and Swiss cheese on a french roll.
Older locals, specifically those of Mexican heritage, may recognize the meat in the Old Timer sandwich as one from their youth: fried bologna.
“Growing up as kids, that was literally like a Mexican steak,” Mark said.
The Old Timer sandwich, Mark says, is “an old-school cut—and they’re thick pieces.”
To invoke nostalgia, the menu includes Spam breakfast burritos and sandwiches.
San Benito High School graduates and sweethearts, Mark and Jeannette consider opening the establishment their biggest business adventure, though they ran an apricot business, Pulido Farms, and their three children have a cattle company, Midway Cattle (with the first three initials taken from their children’s names: Mark, Isabelle and Daniel). “This is our first time doing something like this,” Jeannette said.
Mark continues to run a landscaping business, while also making the breakfast burritos every morning. And Jeannette, along with Trisha Gila, creates the lunch sandwiches.
Marissa Frutos, who has worked at the eatery since its opening, said that though it’s been a busy month, she has loved coming to work.
“The environment is good,” Frutos said. “There’s regular customers already; I’ve gotten to know a lot of them.”
And customers will immediately find an addition to the eatery that Mark says, it had to include.
“I’m a veteran,” says Mark, who served in the US Air Force from 1991 to 1996. “The only thing I wanted in this building was a flag. I had my son hold it up and place it on the wall, and it seemed perfect. And then I said, ‘You know what? Wouldn’t it be cool to dedicate this to [veterans]?’ If there’s anything I came up with in this whole shop, that was probably the best idea I had.”
Veterans can be honored by bringing photos into the eatery (and by writing their names on the back), to be placed on the wall along with the flag.
“You see these veterans when they walk in; they come and they stare at it,” Jeannette said. “There’s a connection.”
As for the future of the eatery, Jeannette hopes to be expanding the menu soon.
“We don’t want it to get stagnant at any point,” she added. “We’re going to be definitely throwing twists on the menu and add specials to keep it interesting.”
4th Street Eatery is open Monday-Thursday, 7am to 4pm (closing Wednesdays at 3pm during Farmers Market season), Fridays 7am to 5pm and Saturdays 7 am to 3pm.
For information, or to place orders ahead, email [email protected] or call 831.635.4444.