One restaurant didn't seem like it was enough. Sure there's a lot of work that goes into running such a business but - what's one more?
Victor Nunez is now on his third restaurant that he's owned and operated since moving from California 10 years ago. The One Stop Taqueria opened a month ago at 1740 E. Main Street in Cortez.
The Dolores restaurant, Vic's Diner, was the first after he moved to Colorado. His small diner, full of deli sandwiches and typical Mexican fare, was a favorite among Dolores residents.
When Nunez and his wife Magy decided to move into Cortez eight months ago, the Dolores restaurant had closed and Nunez was already contemplating his next step.
Beny's located at 640 S. Broadway, under Nunez's ownership and his son Beny's management, was the first restaurant he opened in Cortez. His daughter and his other son Victor serve in the restaurant and Beny cooks.
"My son is a good cook," Nunez said. "He's been in the kitchen, learning since he was seven."
Nunez also claims to be a good cook and says that he does most of the cooking at home. He loves cooking when he and his wife have guests. He loves organizing and preparing the large festive Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
As Beny's gained ground, Nunez saw that the restaurant and his son were both doing fine. He felt that Beny was capable enough to get by without his father there daily.
Plus, one restaurant wasn't enough. He had wanted to present a particular kind of Mexican food. One that differed from the others. One that would be quick, tasty and authentic.
So One Stop Taqueria became Nunez's second home, splitting half his time at Beny's and the other half at the new place.
Nunez said he has had his eye on the location for a while and was in talks of occupying the building once Mountain High Pizza relocated.
He knew what he wanted from this restaurant and how to deliver it.
Customers can come in, sit and dine, but the food is delivered to them very quickly.
But quick doesn't mean that there isn't quality in the food.
Nunez cooks all of his chicken, asada and carnitas by charbroiling them. His tacos are served open-faced with just a few fixings on top, including cilantro. Patrons can try traditional sodas, or Mexican Horchata, a coconut and cinnamon flavored beverage, along with other Mexican favorites. The salsa bar has six different kinds, two green salsas and four red. A sign on the bar says all sauces are mild. Nunez makes all of these himself.
"It's a lot of work to own a restaurant, but it's better than working alone and it's nice to be self-employed," Nunez said.
Nunez doesn't have any family secrets. He said his 88-year-old mother is still a wonderful cook, as is his wife, but all of the recipes at One Stop Taqueria are his own. His restaurant experience in California taught him other cultures such as Greek and Arab. He developed his own style of traditional Mexican cooking and is now passing that along to his children.
Nunez walks around the restaurant and visits with customers.
The many friends and fans of his food that live in Dolores saunter in from time to time to try his new dishes. He watches their reactions as they bite into tacos, burritos and tostadas.
"Everyone has been pleased so far," Nunez said. "They think the food is good. That's all that matters."
He's confident in his product and isn't worried about hard times.
"I try not to worry about slowing down," Nunez explained. "I hope we stay busy, that's what I want but I don't think about that when I open a business." Nunez said he looks to the Lord for opportunity. If a door is opened, he will walk through it and thankfully take what comes with it.