From homemade to community anchor


Marjorie Otto/Review • Mañana Restaurant’s new location more than doubles its seating — from 30 seats at the old restaurant to nearly 90 at the new spot, which includes an outdoor patio.

Marjorie Otto/Review • Mañana Restaurant, originally located at 828 East Seventh St., has moved up the block to 798 East Seventh St. The owners of the Salvadoran restaurant, which is well known for its pupusas, purchased their own building and moved in on July 5.

Mañana Restaurant makes the step to full ownership

 

Mañana Restaurant is well known as the go-to spot for authentic Salvadoran and Mexican food on the East Side, and as of July 5, the restaurant has changed locations.

The owners of the Dayton’s Bluff restaurant have bought their own building down the street from their restaurant’s original location in the 800 block of East Seventh St.

Mañana Restaurant is now located at 798 East Seventh St., across from Comunidades Latinos en Servicio and right next door to the East Side Enterprise Center.

The restaurant is well known in the community for its pupusas — thick corn tortillas stuffed with meats and cheeses — a Salvadoran staple. The restaurant also serves a variety of authentic Mexican dishes. Many local organizations use Mañana to cater events. 

“It’s the most authentic you can get,” said Balmore Paiz, one of the family members who runs the restaurant.  

 

Humble beginnings

The restaurant was started by Rosario Diaz, who emigrated from El Salvador years ago, first living in California, then New Jersey and about 20 years ago, arrived in Minnesota. 

In each state she worked some type of factory job, but in her free time she enjoyed cooking traditional dishes. When Diaz moved to Minnesota she began making pupusas at home and sold them to make some extra income while she worked at a tomato packing plant. 

The pupusas were popular, especially for other immigrants seeking familiar foods in the neighborhood. Eventually, after saving her money, Diaz quit her job and started Mañana Restaurant, renting a space at 828 East Seventh, which she, and eventually her two sons, Balmore and Louis Paiz, have done for the past 14 years.

About three years ago the family bought the vacant building at 798 East Seventh and began making plans and establishing financing to move their restaurant there. 

Work on the space began in earnest this January and they moved in on July 5. 

 

Bigger and better

The new space is a big upgrade. Not only does the family now own its own building, it also increased the size of the restaurant. The old location sat 30 customers and now the new spot seats nearly 90 people, between indoor and outdoor seating.

Over the next month, work on the outside of the building will continue, Paiz said, with the goal to finish facade work in August. 

Another new addition is the ability to sell beer. The restaurant will soon have a liquor license. 

While Paiz said the new location won’t have an expanded menu, he explained that a number of commonly requested off-menu items will now officially be included.

“We created what people wanted,” he said, crediting that as a unique ability that contributed to the restaurant’s success.  

Mañana Restaurant is a family business, said Paiz — he, his brother and his mother all work at the restaurant doing a variety of tasks — cooking, washing dishes, pretty much anything that needs to be taken care of. 

His mother also likes to taste-test the food to make sure it meets her marks, he said with a laugh.

Paiz also credits their success to their dedicated cooks. After all these years, they still have the same cooks working for them, he said, which is why they’ve always been able to deliver the same flavor year after year. 

 Besides the hard work and hours his mother and family has put into the restaurant, Paiz said so much of the success has been due to support from the community. 

“Everyone has been so supportive.” he said. “It’s been a long process, but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.”

 

– Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com. Follow her on Twitter at @EastSideM_Otto

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