Ridge and Midvale won’t be the same again: after 15 years, Johnny Mananas has shuttered for good. Neighbors chime in with comments & memories of this popular Mexican restaurant with the giant chili on top. 

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No more Manana’s? Hard to imagine the busiest corner of East Falls without our giant red chili pepper punctuating the streetscape. When I first moved here 4+ years ago, Johnny Manana‘s chili pepper was one of my first landmarks for home — even *I* couldn’t miss it.

I’m kinda hoping whoever signs a new lease here will either keep the chili or replace it with an equally distinctive emblem. No business has been lined up yet, although EFDC’s Gina Snyder hinted on Facebook that several other food/restaurant-type businesses have expressed interest in the location.

Meanwhile, Fallsers react to losing this familiar local establishment that’s anchored this corner for 15 years.

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Whether you like Mexican food or not, you gotta admit Johnny Manana’s at least was always hopping. We especially loved their outdoor patio, strung with festive lights colored like the ones on the Falls Bridge right across Kelly Drive.

The sign above appeared last Thursday — when word got out on East Falls Rants, many reactions were shocked and concerned. Gina’s feeling optimistic, though: “I think we can get some lemonade out of this!!! There are a number of eateries interested in the space already… stay tuned!”

As the story unfolds, we cherry-picked the best buzz on Facebook. Please add your comments below or email us privately to continue the conversation.

Krista Leigh Xavier  well there goes one of our #1 landmarks.

Sarah Margs  Can we keep the giant pepper?

Joe Joseph  This is a giant blow for that corridor that seemed like it was starting to turn things around lately. I hope something else gets in that spot. In the meantime the overflow should help to bolster the surrounding restaurants.

Rachel LaRoo Not gonna lie I love the fajitas. ??? I always went there it was a hidden getaway. Service depended on who was working…but the margaritas were always cheap and strong.

Heidi Machos  I lived above there for 3 years with my (now) husband when we were just dating and the pepper was right out below our window. We joke that we can say “I loved you, even when we lived above a giant chili pepper” You gotta start someplace, right?! Lol

Jess Mellen-Graaf  My hopes are that the giant pepper will be put to rest with the giant Bucket behind Sherman mills. They belong together.

Koco Nails  Once they take their pepper…I vote for a new landmark!…maybe I’ll get a giant hand…with glitternails!! Ha!! Ok…back to work.

Melora Gregory Jones  It was a great restaurant when it opened, too bad it went south.

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Katreena Blair  I used to work here, it was a fun job. Was thinking about going back part time. Their margaritas were everything. LOL. I’m sad. 🙁

Ashley Pattigno  but how will we find our way home lol

Gabriella H. Grosso  2016 is a shit bucket.

Amanda Razzi  Noooo     ??

Trinette Giberson  Sweet. Sub par over priced Mexican food can be replaced with a coffee shop/record store/performance space. Hey! A girl can dream!

John E. Cardenas  A record store would be great!

Debbie Thomas  Or a combo record store/ coffee shop.

Trinette Giberson  Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. You listen, you imbibe. It’s a glorious combo.

Maureen Smyth  what will we do??? I’m actually a little excited for another restaurant!

Jason Brown  It’s all stupid Hipster liking the fact it’s closing! Gentrification strikes again!

Kate Diamond  I want the giant pepper!!!

Ryno Vig  Yeah but me and the wife DESERVE it!

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In other news… Where do we get a good burrito now?

Adobe Cafe in Roxborough’s not a bad choice if you’d rather not deal with traffic in Manayunk — otherwise, Taqueria Feliz on Main Street. And there’s an El Limon in Ardmore that is just…. mwah. So good, too. Let us know if you’ve got other local(ish) favorites, thanks!

Keep posted here for more developments, fingers crossed this prime location won’t stay unoccupied long.