WAITING FOR A NEW DIRECTION — Richard Pereira, owner of Vintage Steakhouse, talks about his decision to close the restaurant and how his trust in God is giving him peace in his time of change. Steve McBride | Courtesy Photo
WAITING FOR A NEW DIRECTION — Richard Pereira, owner of Vintage Steakhouse, talks about his decision to close the restaurant and how his trust in God is giving him peace in his time of change. Steve McBride | Courtesy Photo

To many patrons of Vintage Steakhouse, it came as a complete surprise when it was announced the restaurant had closed Saturday, June 29.  According to Richard Pereira, owner, "I know it was a drastic move but I had to do it. It hurts me because I love doing this. I love serving people. That is what we were created for is to serve others." 

He added, "It was my time to give it up and if God wants me for something else I should follow where he leads me." 

Almost eight years ago, Pereira opened the Vintage Steakhouse restaurant on W. Main St. It was a dream he aspired to for many years. 

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Pereira discovered his passion for creating cuisine that pleased the eyes as much as the palate. He gained his knowledge of being a chef from working in two of the best restaurants in Puerto Rico. As his desire to become a chef grew he enrolled in school and got a job with a franchise restaurant where he was promoted to kitchen manager. He stayed with that job for six years. 

"I learned how food management works," said Pereira. 

The move to Independence 13 years ago came when his wife, who had a job in the catering business in Puerto Rico that didn't pay well, was offered a good job in the United States which paid more. It was also at this time Pereira had been struggling with drug addiction when he gave his life to God. 

"I began my walk with God and it changed my life. It was the best move to change my life. If we had stayed there I knew where all the drugs were and I was exposed to it every day," said Pereira. 

His love for serving people lead to him opening the Vintage Steakhouse. He had worked for another restaurant when they first arrived in Independence. 

Unfortunately, several factors came into being which prompted the closure of the restaurant. "People have been so nice to me. Many have shared their support and tell me how they want the restaurant to return. I'm waiting on God to show me what I am to do for him next," said Pereira.

Though Pereira isn't sure what the next opportunity might be he is at peace. "Some people may think I may be suffering but I have peace," he said. "I know who to trust and who brought me here."