Fiesta Vallarta Mexican Restaurant opens its doors on Main Street in downtown Waukon

Fiesta Vallarta Mexican Restaurant, newly opened at 9 East Main Street in Waukon, recently received a First Dollar Visit from the Waukon Chamber of Commerce. Pictured above at the First Dollar presentation are, left to right, Waukon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors member Sherrie Hunstad, Arturo, Albino, Nancy, Londy and Jose of Fiesta Vallarta Mexican Restaurant, and Waukon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors member Tyler Halverson. Submitted photo.

Fiesta Vallarta Mexican Restaurant opened for business Monday, September 29 at 9 East Main Street in Waukon, former home of Main Street Entertainment. Business owner Jose Velarde said his appreciation for small towns led him to Waukon and the opening of his own business.
"I like the small towns, and I had been looking for a town like Waukon," Velarde shared. "When I saw there wasn't a Mexican restaurant here, I decided to try it."
The experience Velarde gained to open his own business came from working with his uncle in a Mexican restaurant in Ames, where he moved to after graduating from high school. "I had been working in the restaurant business for a long time and have seen that it is a good business to serve people, and I like that, so I decided to open my own restaurant," he said.
Originally from Las Palmas Jalisco, Mexico, Velarde has also lived in Ankeny in addition to his time spent in Ames. He and his wife have two children, one boy and one girl, and he hopes to some day be able to share his joy and experiences of his new restaurant with them when they grow up, as he says working with his family is one of the greatest rewards of running his own business.
"Being my own boss and having my family working with me, and hopefully some day, my kids," Velarde listed among those rewards.
He also acknowledges the challenges that come with business ownership, but maintains that those obstacles are far outweighed by the more positive aspects of business ownership. "It is different going from being an employee to being a boss because now I have more responsibility," Velarde admitted. "It's hard at first, but then it gets better and easier."
Velarde also has a much broader scope of plans that he hopes to implement as he builds upon his initial success. "I want to get better at what I do and always learn more about it," he said. "Then we'll see about trying to open more of this kind of restaurant so people will have a Mexican restaurant close to them."
For now, Velarde is content to focus on getting off to a good start at his new Waukon location. "We have a large menu where you can choose from a lot of things, and I promise you everything is good," he shared. "Come and try it, and you will like it. We are here to serve you the best."
Fiesta Vallarta Mexican Restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. the rest of the week. The business can be contacted at 563-568-0020.