After sitting vacant for 18 months, Los Gatos’ Coggeshall mansion is about to get a new restaurant tenant: Palacio Mexican restaurant. Once the home of the Chart House and Trevese restaurants, the Victorian mansion-turned-restaurant is one of the city’s most well-known landmarks.

Dean Devincenzi, who owns Double D’s and Forbes Mill with his brother, Darin Devincenzi, is opening the business with Ron Garald, who is also an owner of Forbes Mill. The building is currently undergoing a extensive remodel that includes turning the back bar into the kitchen, moving the old bar to the front and playing up the building’s appealing patio. The restaurant’s green carpet has been removed as well.

Dean Devincenzi says the menu will offer “upscale Mexican and South American food.” He looked to Casa de Cobre in Saratoga, Reposado in Palo Alto and Mamacita’s in San Francisco for inspiration. While the Chart House and Trevese fizzled out, Devincenzi thinks fine, traditional Mexican food is just what Los Gatos needs. “The bottom line is people love Mexican food,” he says. “Nothing against Pedro’s, but we’re doing it a little nicer.” (Nearby Pedro’s is a longtime Mexican restaurant.) 

Entrees will cost from $15 to $25. Divencenzi and Garald are actively looking for a chef. While he wouldn’t disclose what rent is on the space, Divencenzi says he hopes to do about $2 million a year in sales. “I’ve got a fairly good track record,” he says. “I’ve done a lot of homework.”

The name “palacio,” which means mansion or palace in Spanish, is an ode to the beautiful old building. The Victorian Queen Anne building was constructed in 1891 and has housed a restaurant for more than 30 years. Before Trevese opened in March 2007, the Chart House restaurant occupied the building for decades. Years before that, the building was once a funeral home.