With the sounds of splintering wood and shattering glass, a small bit of Modesto history came crashing down Monday morning.
Mallard's Restaurant, one of city's premier places for good food and drinks for over two decades, was torn down in a matter of a couple of hours in front of thousands of drivers at the busy corner of Briggsmore and McHenry avenues and a smattering of spectators scattered in the parking lot.
"I have a tear in my beer," said Modesto's Bill Slayter. "This was Modesto's answer to 'Cheers.' "
Slayter used to come to the popular spot after work for a Bud Light or two, and also enjoyed what he called the "best Sunday brunch ever."
Dennis Ford, 70, happened to be in the area when he saw demolition of one of his favorite restaurants, and stopped to watch.
"Everything about it was first class ... the service, decor ...," he said. "It was just a real nice restaurant."
Modesto Sand and Gravel handled the demolition, which required a simple back hoe to do most of the pulling and ripping of the single-story, 9,574 square-foot building.
Modesto entrepreneur Dan Costa built the upscale eatery in 1986, and it was an instant hit. Costa sold it in 2005, and the restaurant went belly up just two years later. It's been closed for 19 months.
See video below, and click on links to two other videos of Monday's demolition process)