Restaurateurs scooped up buildings housing Bissap Baobab, Alba Ray’s on the same day


The Excelsior-based Peruvian restaurant El Porteño — or at least the restaurant’s owners — will soon have a major presence in the Mission, particularly at the corner of 19th and Mission streets.

Sylvia and Victor Ormeño, the 7-year-old restaurant’s proprietors, purchased two buildings on the corner on the same day in mid-March.

The first is the current home of Bissap Baobab at 3376 19th St., which the Ormeños bought for just over $2 million March 13. In the same stroke, they purchased the liquor license from Bissap’s owner, Marco Senghor, who purportedly off-loaded both items in connection to federal immigration case he’s been fighting since last August.

The liquor license sold for upward of $200,000, according to a source familiar with the deal.

The family also purchased the current home of Alba Ray’s, a 2-year-old Creole-Cajun restaurant at 2293 Mission St., for $1.65 million, also on March 13.

The Ormeños’ plans for the buildings are unclear. Senghor announced in February: “The new owners, a wonderful Latin American family with a long history in the Outer Mission, are bringing their Peruvian cuisine to 19th Street.”  

The family might also be bringing that food to Mission Street. In February, Victor Ormeño registered a business called El Porteño 2 LLC, with one of the addresses being 2293 Mission St., where Alba Ray’s currently operates. The second address is its location in the Excelsior.

Sylvia and Victor Ormeño could not be reached for this story despite repeated attempts. A representative from Alba Ray’s declined to comment.

The Ormeños’ El Porteño should not be confused with El Porteño Empanadas, which operates in the Ferry Building and is a separate business with separate owners. The Ormeños’ El Porteño serves a variety of Peruvian-inspired cuisine, including their “Criollo” menu (traditional Peruvian food) and their “Chifa” menu (Chinese-inspired dishes). And, of course: ceviche.

El Porteño will have a bit of competition. Just across 19th Street, the neighborhood favorite Cholo Soy is expected to reopen soon. Moreover, the Mission District has become a destination for Peruvian fare, with Limon Rotisserie’s two locations in the neighborhood, as well as Cholo Soy’s sister restaurant, El Aji.