A new mexican restaurant opened for business in Webster City on Sunday.
El Paisita Family Mexican Restaurant held its soft opening this weekend, and offered free margaritas and beverages to community members who came out for the opening. The restaurant, which is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., began in Hampton. Tamara Aguilar, who owns the business with her husband, opened the first El Paisita location on June 22, 2012. She brings many years of experience as a waitress while her husband brings a couple decades of experience running restaurants.
El Paisita is staffed by many of Aguilar's family members. Aguilar said that while they are close family, the cooks and staff bring many years of experience with them.
"They kind of all followed us and came along with us because family is very important," Aguilar said.
Expanding the restaurant to Webster City came after Aguilar talked with Webster City Chamber Director Deb Brown. Aguilar and Brown both served on the Greater Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. Aguilar said they developed a good friendship and business relationship, and she was sad to see Brown leave her position there to come to Webster City.
"She did a lot for us there and she's just an awesome lady, very experienced with what she does and bringing businesses to small towns," Aguilar said. "She's always out there in the community."
Brown tipped Aguilar off about the formerly vacant location at 1118 Second Street, which formerly housed a Pizza Hut restaurant. Aguilar was already looking to expand the business, and said the Webster City location was a good fit.
El Paisita's expansion is not stopping in Webster City. Aguilar said the restaurant plans to open up two more locations in the near future. Currently, Aguilar said she is scoping out Fort Dodge and Iowa Falls for new locations.
"That way, it stays in the radius where we're not driving across Iowa to get to work and we're not competing with ourselves," Aguilar said. "It's close enough where we can make it feasible for us to always be there because in this business, you need to be present at all times."
Even though the business is run with family members, Aguilar said there are certain things that need to be done to ensure the restaurant's success. She said the three things that have made their restaurants successful are providing quality food consistently, providing good, fast service and going above and beyond the state requirements for sanitation and cleanliness. Aguilar said she hopes to continue those goals well past El Paisita's grand opening on Sept. 30.
"It's been wonderful to be in Webster City," Aguilar said. "We're happy to be here and hope to see more people out here."