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Dallas, TX
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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Tex-Mex Restaurant Reopens After Pandemic and Fire

Business

Casita Tex-Mex sign | Image by NBC DFW

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Against all odds, Casita Tex-Mex has reopened after a pandemic and a devastating fire threatened to close the doors forever.

Norma Valles, the restaurant owner, said it has taken two years for her and her family to rebuild their only source of income and reopen the doors of their family business.

“I think all the emotions are running through me, like excitement, anxiety, nervousness, and that we’re here. I mean that we finally, we made it past the finish line to be [able] to reopen again,” Valles told NBCDFW.

After letting go of longtime employees and pivoting to food delivery during the pandemic, Valles was dealt another devastating blow on December 27, 2020, when her restaurant caught fire.

“I think it was one of the worst days of my life. I felt like I had lost someone so close to me,” said Valles. She believes a chip warmer caused the fire that burned down the restaurant.

In 2021, other issues affected business for Valles, like the winter freeze, storage unit issues, and theft, all of which could have made Valles feel hopeless. Still, she says her faith in God, family, and the community she had built around the restaurant kept her spirits up.

“It was like you were trying to get out of quicksand, and it wasn’t fast enough, and so I mean, it was just one thing or another,” she said. “I finally said, ‘Ok, I have to take a deep breath and accept where we’re at and keep moving forward. Just never give up.'”

After overcoming the obstacles of rebuilding, Valles held a soft launch of her restaurant in the new building last Wednesday, surrounded by a community of friends, family, and customers.

“The community gave me strength. The community was very supportive, and that was another reason that I didn’t give up, because they all said, ‘Hey, we want you back,'” Valles said.

Casita Tex-Mex is located near Northwest Highway and Central Express Way at 5807 Blackwell St.

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