Into the Frying Pan!!
May 26, 2012 4:47 am
Updated: Jun. 5, 2012 6:33 am
Wow! That sums up the turn my life has suddenly taken. Jon and I are on a new life-changing adventure. We're on a path we NEVER dreamed we'd be on. It's only just beginning and fingers crossed everyone - we hope it's going to be a long, successful,
fun adventure! Here's the scoop: We now own a Mexican Restaurant!! What??!!! How did that happen??!!!
The background: Jon has been friends for about 20 years with a building contractor. About 10 years ago he decided to build a building and make home-made ice cream and rent the rest of the building out for a restaurant. Our daughter was of working age and
became a "professional ice cream scooper" when she wasn't studying to become a teacher. After a couple failed restaurants, in walk a group of Mexican men who wanted to lease the building for their restaurant. None of them spoke much English, but they learned
quickly and our daughter became friends with the majority owner/manager.
It turns out the manager is very good at running a business and six years later he is still there. In the meantime, we've become very good friends. His family attended our daughter's wedding. We've shared many happy times, and a few sad times with them.
Their three children are my adopted grandchildren. We're teaching them the American ways and they're teaching us much about their Mexican culture. I have written about them often in my blogs.
Because he is not an American citizen he cannot be the holder of any liquor licenses, etc. so he has always had to "pair" up with someone to help him out in that department. About a year ago an American woman who had been working for him offered to step up
and become the official owner for him. Well.... that didn't turn out so well. She filed all the necessary paperwork, took over the books and ran the financial part of the business into the ground. So badly that the building owner (our friend) had to serve
them with an eviction notice in February to try and get rent money owed to him. At that point she stated she wanted out and she left, with the promise they would work out a business deal where she would transfer all the licenses over to someone else for our
friend. He found a new partner and two months later the woman presented them with an Agreement. It didn't look too fair to them so our friend (I'll call him F for now) showed it to us. We said he needed an attorney to go over it for him, so we took him
to an attorney I used to work for. Three days later this woman discovers he's been to an attorney and she starts hounding him to just sign the agreement. Bad went to worse and then some. She became a royal pain in the rear-end. When it became clear that
F and his new partner weren't going to sign her one-sided Agreement she walked in and took her liquor license off the wall; thus ending any alcohol sales in the building. When F continued to operate the business, she took the food license as well. The building
owner also holds a license for his ice cream business. The health department assured him the restaurant could operate on his license for food.
Long story made into a short novel: This woman ended all hopes of anyone ever signing her Agreement in any form with her bad faith actions. The partner F had found got tired of her drama and backed out. F and family were ready to pack it in and leave. Myself
and hubby could not allow this to happen! After much talking between ourselves and also with the building owner and F we agreed to jump on board and become the new owners for him. I insisted we were going to be the owners only and I was NOT going to do any
serving or cooking. If I did that it was highly possible all customers would run screaming from the restaurant! LOL Our duties will be behind the scenes with the financial aspect and other maintenance issues.
On May 3rd the building owner took over the books for us until we could get things in order. The official paperwork all went through on May 15th. So - as of May 15th our favorite Mexican Restaurant has become
Our Mexican Restaurant with a new name: Mi Rancho. We have a food license, vendor license, a sign and new menus. We still have the best Mexican cook around, the best servers, and the best manager. We don't have a liquor license yet - that takes
FOREVER! In the meantime, though, it's been business as usual. The regular customer base is still there and they're being very understanding and patient. The food is good enough that you don't NEED a margarita to wash it down, but it is a nice compliment
to go along with the meal.
We have literally spent every hour that we haven't been at our "real" jobs at the restaurant. The situation there is a win-win for everyone involved. I coined it a "love triangle" to some friends who drove an hour to eat there last night, not knowing any
of the drama that was going on. They had come there once before on our recommendation last Fall and thought they'd come back last night. They were very surprised to learn about what has transpired. Who is involved in this Love Triangle?? A good business
man (the building owner) who has been my husband's friend for 20 years; us; and a wonderful Mexican family that has become an extended part of our family. We've heard all the comments about how one should never mix business with family or friends. We know
there is potential for disaster - but we all feel the potential for success is far greater. Everyone respects everyone and we are all open and willing to help one another out. F and his family (which are all the employees) are very grateful that we are helping
them out. I'm going to be learning much about the restaurant business.
Once that liquor license arrives we will be having a huge Fiesta!! Ole'
Menu cover - our son designed it, F got married in that church!
A look at one fabulous meal!
One of the lovely servers.