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In Praise of Henry Mendoza

Henry—we all knew him as Henry—was a favorite member of our Capitol Hill family from his earliest days as a young man waiting tables at La Lomita. We all watched him start his own restaurant and raise his beautiful family right here among us. Henry was sweet, personable, and tireless, all key to running a successful business built on a foundation of friendship.

Maybe because of his love for his own children, Henry made La Plaza one of the Hill’s few family-friendly restaurants. I reveled in seeing children dining with their families, sometimes spilling out onto the sidewalk, to celebrate a birthday, a Capitol Hill baseball game, or some other event. And people of all ages gathered at La Plaza to just relax and enjoy being taken care of with a warm smile and a nice cold margarita. We cherished the place Henry created for all of us, and he showed his appreciation for our community by stenciling many of his customers’ names on the restaurant’s walls.

It is always sad to lose a member of the family, and in this case, it was much too soon. We grieve for Henry’s dear family and for an entire community that will sorely miss this very special man.

Tommy Wells is a former Ward 6 Councilmember and currently serves as Chairman of DC Water.

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