Forty-five years ago, Jose Trujillo quit his job with Lockheed Martin to pursue his dream of restaurant ownership. He started by selling burritos and tacos out of the back of the old Kitchen Bar on Littleton's West Main Street. And ten years later, on this exact date in 1976, he and his wife, Phyllis, bought the space next door, opening Jose's Restaurant at 2420 West Main, which has been in the family ever since.
And this week, the family is celebrating its 45th anniversary.
"We've been serving Main Street for 45 years," says Chris Slinkard, Trujillo's daughter, who now manages the place with her parents. "Like Dad said, we only moved about eight inches."
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But that eight-inch move from the back of another spot also allowed Jose to expand his menu, adding ribs and rellenos to what he'd been able to cook up at the Kitchen.
The Trujillo family will mark its 45 years in the food business with daily specials all week, including $2.50 tacos today and free sopaipillas on Friday. "And on Saturday, we'll have a little party with cake and a band," says Slinkard.
There's certainly cause for celebration: Forty-five years of family business puts the Trujillos in the company of only a handful of family-owned restaurants in the metro area that have been around that long.