Investments and business ventures are inherently risky. Still, some people are willing to take chances in order gain the lifestyle they desire.
For Alejandro Farias, co-owner of El Unico Restaurant in Dodge City, the appeal of owning a business is the independence that an owner has, he said.
Farias hopes to attain a higher quality of life by working hard and succeeding in the business. He immigrated to the United States from the state of Jalisco in Mexico for the same reason, he said.
Farias and a business partner opened El Unico in early March. The building that houses the restaurant was previously occupied by a short-lived barbeque establishment. Before that, it was vacant for several years. Though Farias was aware of the possibility of failure, he decided to open his restaurant anyway, he said.
The first few months of operation have been successful, but also a little difficult, Farias said. There isn’t one thing in particular that has made starting the restaurant arduous. The many responsibilities that he has and the long work hours that he puts in at the business have made the process a little difficult, in general, he said.
Still Farias believes that he will be able to overcome the difficulties that he has faced. The many years that Farias has spent working in and owning food service businesses give him confidence that the restaurant will be a success. “I spent 12 years working as a cook in restaurants,” he said. The businesses that he previously owned include a take-out lunch counter and a food trailer.
Though Farias is a co-owner of the restaurant, he often can be found in the kitchen cooking. Farias enjoys cooking and likes to prepare the dishes himself, whenever possible, he said. He does not have a favorite dish to cook or one that he cooks better than the others. However, a dish called molcajete has become the most popular amongst customers, he said. It contains beef, chicken, chorizo, jalapenos, and salsa.
So far, the business is performing pretty well, Farias said. The restaurant has approximately 10 to 12 employees and has expanded its hours in order to offer breakfast. The breakfast menu, he said, offers traditional American breakfast foods with a Mexican flavor.
The quality of the food and the excellent service that is offered are the two main reasons why Farias believes that his venture will succeed in the long-run.
At El Unico, everyone will be able to find something that appeals to their tastes, Farias said. Items on the menu range from tacos, to sandwiches, to soups, and seafood.
El Unico also strives to treat customers as if they were in their own homes. The bilingual waiters and waitresses make it possible for everyone in the community to feel welcome at the restaurant, he said.
Page 2 of 2 - In English, “el unico” roughly translates to “the only” or “the best,” Farias said. He hopes his customers will continue to return and that others in the community will give his restaurant a try. “I invite everyone to come here and know us.”