A new restaurant opened in Valdese on Friday, bringing another taste of Mexico to the area. The Mexican restaurant El Patron held its official grand opening ceremony on Friday and Saturday.
Fabio Vasquez, one of the restaurant’s owners, brings more than 16 years of experience working in Mexican restaurants to his new venture.
“I’ve worked in Mexican restaurants for many years,” he said. “I did the dishes, hosted, cleaned tables, waited, worked in the kitchen and managed. I know what I’m doing, that’s why I started my own business.
Last year, along with his brother José, Vasquez decided to capitalize on this experience and the relationships they have built with customers over the years by opening a new restaurant.
El Patron serves a variety of Mexican specialties such as burritos, enchiladas, nachos and ACP (arroz con pollo) as well as a few specialties that Vasquez and his team have concocted. According to Vasquez, the best dish on the menu is the ribeye and shrimp. He said many of his customers requested it during the grand opening because they liked the way he cooked steak.
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Vasquez said the crowds on both opening nights exceeded his expectations, filling the dining room to capacity and earning him many compliments from satisfied patrons.
“These three days of my opening, my customers were really happy with the meal we served,” he said. “They give me more motivation to keep doing what I’m doing. If you love what you do, it motivates you.
Vasquez said it was also inspiring to finally be able to run his own business.
“I’m really excited because it’s my business,” he said. “I’ve run businesses before as a manager, but now I’m running my own business.”
Vasquez is proud of the team he has assembled to help him run El Patron. He said everyone he’s hired has experience working in Mexican restaurants and they’re excited to be a part of the new company. Remembering how he sometimes felt as an employee, he hopes he can be the kind of boss he wishes he had, fostering a team atmosphere and acknowledging the hard work and dedication its employees demonstrate.
“I spoke to my employees when we first started working and said, ‘we’re a team’. I’m not your boss, we’re together,” Vasquez explained. nobody because I’ve been on the other side, if you’ve been there, you know. I’m not going to do that with my people.
He said he also hopes to use his new business to give back to the community by providing special offers and delivery service to police, fire departments, schools, hospitals and other public service agencies.
“I used to deliver to these places in my old job, so I want to keep doing that because these people, they know me,” Vasquez said. “I give a deal for everyone. I’m trying to give police departments a discount…I’m not trying to be a rich man; I want to have enough money and help people.
El Patron Mexican Restaurant is located at 906 S. Main St. in Valdese and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. El Patron offers sit-down dining as well as take-out and drive-thru. For more information, call 828-334-3303.
Jason Koon is editor and can be reached at [email protected]