Ever since I was 15 years old and worked for Zarape Mexican Restaurant in Downtown Bryan I knew one day I would own one of my own. I loved the Downtown area and had fond memories from my childhood as my sister and I were always Downtown due to our mom working at JC Penney in Downtown. I would dream about it. I just needed the support and commitment from my wife and my family. Year after year she would tell me “no, this year is not the right year, or you’ll know when the time is right”. I knew it would be a challenge and sacrifice but I dared not to take it on without the support of my family.
Then one day I was delivering to Rami Cerone at Caffé Capri and he said “hey buddy I have the perfect place for you to open your dream restaurant”. He told me about the location at 201 south Main. Liz and I went to look at it and immediately knew the time was right. We opened PaPa Perez Mexican Cuisine in March of 2006. I left Sysco Food after working 12 years, my wife Liz worked full-time at Texas A&M University – TTI and then would come help us in the evenings.
After about a year of working both jobs she ended up leaving TTI after 18 years of service to come join me full-time. Our daughter put her college years on hold to come work full-time, our middle son concentrated on graduating high school and ready for his challenge of acceptance to Texas A&M University, while our youngest son had us all over the state traveling on a baseball tournament team.
Wow, looking back now I don’t know how we did it all. Then we are reminded that it was all by the grace of God, our faith and love and passion for this kind of work we do every day. After 5 years at 201 South Main we were giving the opportunity to move PaPa Perez across the street to a much bigger location at 200 South Main, where we’ve occupied for the past two years. PaPa Perez is a family owned and operated business therefore you will always see either Me, Liz, our daughter, one of our two sons, or our son-in-law at the restaurant.
Within one year of business we earned the “Mayor’s Downtown Impact Award 2007, have been featured in Texas Highways – The Travel Magazine of Texas March 2008, Texas Monthly November 2010, and Texas Monthly December 2010 – The 50 Best Mexican Restaurants in Texas.
Downtown Bryan is growing and growing each day. We have witnessed so many new businesses develop and prosper in the seven years we’ve been blessed to own PaPa Perez.
We love what we do, we love the guests we serve every day, we love the relationships we’ve made along the way, we love hearing the nice comments as each guest leaves our restaurant, we love our staff, and we love that our family has grown with our two grandsons that we hope will also have a passion for the family business.
But mostly we are just grateful for our blessings and hope to continue to grow and blossom in the years to come!
We vouch to continue to work hard every day, be consistent with our quality of food, strive for excellent customer service and welcome everyone with a friendly hi and smile.