Angela Hernandez grew up cooking with her family, who own Taqueria Hernandez. Now, she’ll be the owner of El Patron Mexican Restaurant.
The restaurant will be in the old Hunters Sports Bar & Grill building, 1109 B St. It’s a venture by the whole family, Hernandez said, and will have a larger menu than the taco truck.
“I also went to school for something in the medical field but I always came back home and I always helped my parents,” Hernandez said. "I’ve always loved to cook and help them out and I think this is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Her parents and older sister have helped her out a lot, she said.
“They’re my biggest supporters,” she added. “This is what I really want to do.”
It’s been a lifetime in the making so far. Hernandez remembers her and her sister being around four- or five-years-old and helping her parents sell food at the soccer field.
“We would just have a grill outside,” she said.
In particular, she has been working on this project for the last few months. Her sister bought the building late in 2020, a little before Christmas. In that time, the family have “remodeled the building from head to toe,” Hernandez said.
It’s a lot of work, she said, adding it will be worth it.
Work included increasing the kitchen's size, installing new flooring, having murals painted, establishing a new bar in the back and adding new seating.
“We’re going to have a little bit of everything. (It’s) a little different from the taco truck but kind of the same concept,” Hernandez said. “Just a little bit more because the taco truck is a smaller place to work. That’s why we can’t offer a full menu there.”
She’ll be hiring people, she noted.
Hernandez is venturing out and coming into a storefront, Schuyler Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Audra Jedlicka said.
“We’re thrilled,” Jedlicka said. “I know that Schuyler is excited to have another place to eat and get some drinks and (have the opportunity for) social gatherings.”
Hernandez is very supportive of the community, she noted.
“She’s been a part of our trunk-or-treat and so she’s definitely a giver. That whole family is. So we’re thrilled to have them join downtown and have another place for everyone,” Jedlicka added. “So I know that she’s made transitions on the inside and that’s kind of how she is too, she’s very creative and she wanted to make it their own.”
Jedlicka said residents are excited to get inside and see the changes.
“They’re well respected in our community,” she said. “And known for good food.”
The taco truck will not close, Hernandez noted. Once the store gets its liquor license, it should be ready to open, she said.
“We have been in the business field for about 18 years,” Hernandez said. “I think they wanted also a sit-down place in town where we can serve alcoholic beverages.”
Carolyn Komatsoulis is a reporter for the Schuyler Sun. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.