Since opening up over 30 years ago, Owner John Diaz has been a familiar face to many Turlock residents who patroned the hometown restaurant. Always seen with a beaming smile on his face, Diaz greeted his customers as if they were lifelong friends.
Located right off the freeway at Lander Ave, the Almond Tree was a popular meal and social stop for local farmers and ranchers, nightlife enthusiasts, and hungry travelers passing through Turlock on Highway 99.
From biscuits and gravy to seafood to chili colorado, the Almond Tree catered to just about any appetite. Friday and Saturday nights’ prime rib special was a local favorite.
Devoted regular Joe Gomes reflects back on his years of morning coffee and breakfast at the Almond Tree. “I’m truly going to miss this place,” he tells Diaz while helping him clear out the last of the restaurant equipment. “We’ve watched each other grow old here.”
Aside from their wide variety of food, they were also known for their exciting nightlife. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Almond Tree was one of the only places in town you could go to get a bite after last call. Their karaoke and DJ dance nights provided a lively place for Turlockers to dance the night away.
In regards to why the Almond Tree is suddenly calling it quits, Diaz stated that their lease was up and he just decided it was time for him to retire.
“I have been very blessed to be able to serve the Turlock community for as long as I have. I want to give a sincere thank you to the community, and the City of Turlock,” he stated, “But most importantly, I want to thank my customers. It was such an honor serving you and making you part of my family.”
The 30 years of warm smiles, hospitality, and comforting food that used to greet the guests, friends, and family came to an end this month. Today was the final day Diaz or any of the Almond Tree family could be spotted at the former Almond Tree site.