Twenty Years and Counting at La Casa del Pueblo
It seems like only yesterday that I was a youngster having my first margarita at La Casa del Pueblo (1209 Siskiyou Boulevard across from the college) but amazingly twenty years have gone by. When I stopped by last week for a photo op, none of the original staff (Salvador, Lupe, Ramon and Victor) seemed to have aged at all.
“We are very thankful to all of our loyal customers who have become good friends of ours all these years,” Salvador said. “We are continually trying to improve our menu by adding new items and spicing things up. The atmosphere is fun and festive, and we treat everyone as if they’re family.”
Salvador still remembers the day in Seattle in 1999 when he got a call from his brother-in-law Martin Rodriguez asking if he would like to go in as a 3-way partner in a restaurant in Ashland.
“My brother Juan was the third partner,” said Salvador, who comes from a family of 14 kids. “We started at the old Si Casa restaurant but immediately changed the name to La Casa del Pueblo. Martin and Juan did the cooking, and my wife Lupe and I were the restaurant managers.”
There have been a few staff changes over the last 20 years, and today it’s Salvador, Lupe and Ramon (Salvador’s brother) greeting customers at the door. About eight years ago, they also secured a loan to buy the building, and they rent their downstairs banquet room to large groups and parties.
The family hails from the town of Cuautla, Mexico, in between Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, an area famous for its seafood dishes. Those flavors have been transported to the menu at La Casa, which features a wide selection.
“The menu includes lots of traditional Mexican dishes and some of our own creations,” Salvador said. “There are some great appetizers, plus a Camarones a la Diabla entrée, which is bell peppers and shrimp; a Casuelas, which is chicken and beef strips in a bowl; a veggie enchilada; five combination plates; and lots more.”
It’s definitely a fun, family atmosphere at La Casa, with friendly waiters and waitresses, fast service, and some of the best margaritas in town. The entire crew works overtime to ensure that customers feel at home. There’s also plenty of free parking in front and back.
“Lunchtime can be pretty busy during the school year, because it’s a favorite for high school students,” Salvador said. “But we love it, and we get to know a lot of the students on a first name basis. Many of our customers today first started coming here as high school students, and we think that’s great.”
For info, the phone number if 541-482-5092.