We had the good fortune of connecting with José Bañuelos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi José, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
As a naturalized citizen originally from Mexico, I always dreamed about opening my own restaurant. I was raised in a family that loved cooking traditional Zacatecas-style Mexican food. My passion for cooking came from helping, watching, and learning my mother and grandmother. When I first started in the restaurant industry I worked as a prep cook for Marie Calendar’s. I eventually became a cook, then an assistant manager, and later a general manager. I took a short break from the restaurant industry and then came back as an assistant manager for Mimi’s Cafe. There I became a general manager and then a managing partner. After 30 years of working for corporations I decided to open my own restaurant, Urbano Mexican Kitchen. Urbano is located in Pasadena, California and we are known for our traditional homemade Mexican dishes created with high-quality ingredients. I strive to create fresh Mexican food and to provide an unforgettable dining experience.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Currently we are facing the biggest challenge to our restaurant: to create and maintain a dining experience during the Covid-19 pandemic. We have to keep up with changing state and local health protocols and a decrease in sales. Urbano’s doors have remained open only because of our incredibly dedicated staff and the unwavering support from family and the community.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to recognize our staff, my family, and our wonderful patrons who have continued to support our family-owned restaurant.