Restaurant Report Card: Señor Manuel’s serves rich history & flavor for 50 years despite pandemic

Restaurant Report Card

COLORADO SPRINGS — In this week’s Restaurant Report Card, a Colorado Springs family-owned restaurant celebrates half a century in business. Señor Manuel Mexican Cuisine has been sitting in the same spot at 4660 N. Nevada Avenue for 50 years and this year has been one of the hardest due to the pandemic.

“Señor Manuel’s was started by Manuel and Lucy Hernandez, who are my parents, and started in 1970,” Owner Mika Hernandez said.

It’s a legacy 50 years in the making that is now uncertain.

“I was six years old when we opened the restaurant,” Hernandez explained. “We grew up in the restaurant. I have grandchildren now and they’re here.”

Hernandez and her brother, Mark are still sharing their family’s story, and made-from-scratch dishes.

“It’s our life. It’s our heart. It is definitely something that we do with love,” said Hernandez.

It was a year that was supposed to be a celebration for Señor Manuel’s, but number 50 has been one of the toughest.

“When this first started, of course, you’re in shock,” Hernandez said. “We were doing okay. People were very generous. They were very supportive. As time went by and the PPP money ran out, things got a little more stressful.”

Hernandez said they haven’t had to layoff any employees, yet.

“Unfortunately, it’s something that we might have to consider,” said Hernandez.

And just like they have for half a century, they’re depending on this community. They need all of the support they can get, so they can continue carrying on the history that’s as rich as the flavors.

“We love our customers,” he said. “We have an amazing customer base and great relationships with them. They’re part of our family. There’s a lot of great restaurants in this town, that deserve our help right now.”

Señor Manuel’s is offering takeout, delivery, and the patio is open on nice days. They also do large family meals for four with tacos or fajitas for $50.

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