“Donde Galy”: After 20 years, an emblematic restaurant in the downtown area closes its doors

Empanadas, pomegranate beans, humitas, meat in juice, roast chicken, sopaipillas or picarones were part of the menu options offered by the local “Donde Galy”, which, for almost 20 years, offered the best of homemade Chilean gastronomy to his clientele.

The restaurant, which is on Matta Street with Francisco de Aguirre Avenue, in La Serena, for years served workers from different public services such as the Ministry of Education, Integra, the mayor’s office, the municipality or Chile Deportes, among others, as well as also to locals and tourists who came to the area.

Regarding the reasons for closing, Silvia Marín, owner of the restaurant, indicated, in conversation with El Día, that she is looking to take a step back from the business and be able to rest.

“We started in 2005 selling homemade food and before we worked on events such as weddings, birthdays or baptisms,” he said.

In these 20 years, one of the anecdotes that Silvia remembers most was when the TVN program El Hacedor de Hambre visited them. “They came to do a report on us because we were a snack of traditional Chilean food, and although we always had a lot of clientele, after the program people came from Copiapó, Salamanca or Santiago,” she said.

“I believe that people from all over Chile came to meet us because many people saw the interview they did with us,” he added.

The arrival of famous people to their premises also stands out. “There was a time when Quique Neira was there when the La Serena festival was held. There were also New Wave singers, such as Alejandro de Rosas or ‘Chino’ Navarrete, in addition, people invited by the Ministry of Cultures.”

“We have a lot of history and also many young people who went when they were studying, now went with their children and their family to lunch,” he added.


However, one of the most difficult moments they had to face was the social outbreak, as they were directly affected by being steps away from the so-called “ground zero” of the protests.

The pandemic was also a big blow, since they were closed for two years as they did not have terraces to be able to serve outdoors, which was one of the requirements requested by the authorities to operate at that time.
“Later we came back, but it wasn’t the same as before. “She continued cooking, people went, but everything changed,” she said.

Regarding the feeling that closing the store leaves them, Silvia pointed out that since her daughters are now professionals, they told her that it was time to step aside. “The truth is that it was difficult for me to decide. It was not easy and I have thought about it a lot, and although we have closed it, everything is inside without knowing what to do,” she was honest.

Along these lines, he highlighted that “in this, I always worked with a sister named Lucía, from whom I cannot take away credit since she was always with me in everything, in addition to my entire family.”


Asked what advice she would give to someone who wants to start and open a restaurant, she assured that “they have to dare to do it, because one cooks with the heart. It takes a lot of work and perseverance, and when things are done this way they work out, they pay off because I educated my daughters with my work and I am proud of that, along with them and my grandchildren.”

Likewise, he took advantage of the newspaper’s pages to thank all the customers who, at some point, enjoyed their dishes at the restaurant. “There were many people who visited us for years, who were with us and helped us emerge and I don’t know how to thank them. And also to my entire family, the Marín Galleguillos, just like those who worked for us for many years.”

“There were many people who were behind us, supporting us in the years we started working and they were with us for almost 20 years,” he concluded.


In this regard, Carlos Orrego Torrico, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism of La Serena, regretted that the establishment closed its doors “as a result of the end of its service status, since the person who leads this restaurant wants to dedicate himself to a better life.” calm and without this work that he has carried out for so long.”

However, he highlighted that “this restaurant has been a characteristic hallmark and we hope that its new stage will be calmer. Also, enjoy all the work that the person who is leading this place has had for so long,” he added.

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