The family taking over the restaurant has two other Johnny’s restaurants in Tracy — at the outlet mall on Pescadero Ave. and a snack bar inside the West Valley Family Bowl on East St. — and plans to expand their love of the 1950s to the downtown Tracy area.
The grand opening is planned for July 1, according to Gaby Machuca, who owns the other restaurants with her husband, Johnny, and their five children.
“It’s a fun atmosphere,” Machuca said. “They (customers) like what we did out here (at Tracy Outlets), and that’s what we’re going to bring.”
Machuca said the traditional diner-inspired dishes — including burgers, mozzarella sticks and homemade milkshakes — would be served at the new location, which the family plans to decorate with 1950s flair, including images of Elvis Presley.
The Machucas also plan to welcome classic car owners to the 11th Street restaurant nightly, including the car group that frequents their Tracy Outlets restaurant Thursday nights.
“My husband loves cars,” she said.
The drive-in presents an ideal opportunity for a family that has worked in the restaurant business for more than 20 years, Machuca added. She said they always liked Wallie’s and its nostalgic atmosphere, and they inquired about buying it some time ago.
Six to eight weeks ago, the owners contacted the family about leasing the property.
“We’ve lived in Tracy about six years now,” she said. “When we first came to visit, it (Wallie’s) was a cool place. We saw the doors close and started to ask (around). They asked if we were still interested, and we said yes.”