Reports on social media are saying that the proprietor of Manny's Original El Tepeyac in Boyle Heights has died. KFI News tweeted that employees of the burrito stand on Evergreen Avenue confirmed Rojas' death. The station notes Rojas is credited with creating the Hollenbeck Burrito: it's made with pork verde, rice, beans and guacamole and topped with chile verde. From the history page at the El Tepeyac website:
Founded in 1942 by the Rojas family; originally called El Tupinamba Café, located in downtown LA; which then moved to Lincoln Heights, there known as La Villa Café. In 1952 the family made its final move to Boyle Heights, where it would be known as El Tepeyac Café, now the home of the ever famous “Manuel Special” – - the FIVE POUND BURRITO! After the untimely death of his father, Salvador Rojas, Manuel stepped in and along with his mother Rebecca, took the restaurant and built it to become the neighborhood restaurant of Los Angeles and for all who come.....
Now 77 years old and at a time where many would be retired, Manuel starts up the kitchen at 3AM, 7 days a week and sticks around for breakfast through lunch doing what he loves best, welcomes everyone with a kiss for the ladies and a hug for the men. His appreciation and adoration for his friends and customers continues through 4 generations. There have been many imitators but, there is only one Manuel’s Original El Tepeyac.
There's a copyright tag that suggests the blurb was written in 2010, which would place Rojas as pushing 80. When I last wrote about Rojas in 2009, he was 75. So he's in his late 70s.
Previously on LA Observed:
El Tepeyac not going anywhere