WASILLA —Senior Taco owners Lucia and Jose Nanez and their Senor Taco staff celebrated the official grand opening of their new location off the Palmer-Wasilla Highway near Home Depot.

“We’re very happy about it,” Lucia said.

City of Wasilla officials like mayor Bert Cottle was present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony June 24 with a dinner concert featuring local country musician Ken Peltier later that evening.

“We are very and happy and appreciative of the patrons without them we would be without business,” Lucia said.

Lucia seemed to know everybody there and stopped every few minutes to say hi or hug somebody as she made her rounds around the outdoor dinner party. She had a big smile on her face throughout the evening that lit up even brighter every time she shared pleasantries.

Lucia and Jose made it their goal to provide authentic Mexican food while connecting with the community at large. Lucia said it all started in Eagle River with their flagship establishment, Chepos Mexican Restaurant, over 30 years ago

They eventually established another Chepos in Wasilla. They used to have an Anchorage location but that’s no longer operational.

Eventually, they branched out and opened up their Senor Taco, which offers a less formal sit down experience with more traditional Mexican dishes available. Lucia said she’s always loved to cook, and her fellow chefs at both restaurant chains take a lot of pride in representing their culture through a colorful pallet of flavors and time tested traditions.

“We are so proud to be Mexican,” Lucia said.

Senor Taco moved from its location next to the Carrs/Safeway Mall Feb. 2. Lucia said the new spot is twice as big and it’s a wonderful facility. She said all their restaurants were closed for two weeks due to COVID-19 and it was a very difficult time.

“We felt so sad,” Lucia said.

Lucia said being back in business with an all-new location and a big party with the community was the best way to return. She said this business is all about family, inside and out.

“It’s everything because without them my life would be complete,” Lucia said.

She said that her immediate family means everything to her and her ultimate goal is to help customers feel like they’re a part of it, saying “mi casa es tu casa” or my home is your home.

“I meet wonderful people. I don’t see them as customers. I see them as family,”

Lucia took a moment to thank her local partners, Key Bank, Troy Davis Homes, and Somers Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates real estate agent Scott Myers.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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