The Story of Vasquez Restaurant
Mr. Jesus Vasquez
Mrs. Margarita Vasquez
The story of Vasquez Restaurant begins way back in 1884 with Jesus Vasquez immigrating to the United States of America where he dreamed of a better life. Margarita Luna was born in Uvalde on May 23, 1889 to Refugio Luna and Maria Escobedo, themselves immigrants from Mexico.
In 1912 Jesus and Margarita wed. They had a large traditional Mexican family which was the norm for the time. 12 children survived childbirth and infancy. They strived for a better life for themselves, their children, and their grandchildren. Jesus was a carpenter by trade but also played the fiddle in a band. Margarita held the traditional matriarchal role of raising their children and being supportive of Jesus. They built their life together over the years. As time passed, they were able to save up money and purchase land on the then outskirts of town in West Uvalde.
With a large family and especially the time period she grew up in, it was natural for Margarita to become quite the cook. She would prepare food for her husband, her children and their friends. It was always fresh, made-to-order and prepared with ingredients she had grown or raised. As the years went on, Margarita dreamed of owning her own restaurant, one that she could run with her family and one that she could leave to her children and they to their children.
In 1935, during the Great Depression and certainly against the odds, her dream became a reality. Her restaurant opened on May 6th, 1935 in the 100 block of E. Main and was called the Tejas Café. Margarita did not drive. So, to get to her restaurant, she would walk 6 blocks every morning at 5am with her trusty kerosene lamp through the monte (woods) to get to the other side of Uvalde. Her restaurant opened at 6am. What amazes me to this day is that she did this after her 12th child who had survived birth and infancy, was nearing his second birthday. In 1938, Santos Vasquez her oldest son, began helping with the café. It was renamed the Carta Blanca Café.
In 1942, Jesus completed the new building he had been working on for Margarita on their property at 601 West Main Street. They then relocated the café and renamed it Vasquez Cafe. Over the years, her children and their children had their part in the restaurant’s operation and success. In August of 1952, Grandma and Grandpa retired. Concha, Esther and Enrique took over duties as the restaurant became busier and busier. In 1961 it became quite clear to them that through their hard work and sacrifices, the restaurant had outgrown the building Jesus built. It was decided then, that a new and larger restaurant would have to be built to keep up with the demand for their freshly made food. In 1962, The Vasquez Cafe moved to 1900 N. Park Street while construction of a new building at 601 W. Main Street began. After 6 years of work, the grand opening of the new building was held on July 12, 1968.
For over 50 years the restaurant operated continuously, it was only after the passing of their last child who worked in it till the day he died, literally, that the restaurant went dark. The future of the restaurant and the legacy of Jesus and Margarita was in jeopardy of becoming a footnote in the memory of the community.
After much prayer and much consideration of the sacrifices Jesus and Margarita put into the restaurant, it was decided by their grandson that he would rebuild the restaurant and remodel it into the modern and unique space you are currently sitting in.
On behalf of our entire family, past and present, we thank you for choosing us. May God continue to bless this family with good health and great cooking skills, and may God bless all who walk through our doors with a healthy appetite.
Welcome home. Welcome to The Vasquez.