In recent months, loyal customers have lined up for curbside service at a Lewisville Tex-Mex favorite in an effort to keep it afloat.

But Angelina’s Mexican Restaurant is more than just a local staple. The family behind it, whose restaurant roots can be traced back more than 30 years in the North Texas community, is defending a wide-reaching legacy.

The restaurant gets its name from Angelina Velez, who started a small restaurant in The Colony in 1986 and grew it into a group of North Texas establishments. In the years since her death in 2013, Velez’s family has taken over the locations in Lewisville and Corinth.

“We can’t let what she built die with us,” said Adriana Luna, Velez’s granddaughter. “We’ve got to figure this out.”

Luna operates the Lewisville location of Angelina’s alongside her sister, Eliza Velez. In recent months, they and their parents have been working like many restaurant owners to adapt to the challenges of food service in the pandemic.

Thanks to continued support of their most loyal customers, the Lewisville restaurant has been able to make it so far without needing to lay off any staff, Luna said.

“I’m sure people were sick of Mexican food, but they continued to come and do curbside pickup—not only because of the food, but because of our staff,” Luna said.

In addition to curbside and pickup service, Angelina’s has benefited from selling family meal packs, Luna said. The Texas executive order that allowed restaurants to sell margaritas for takeout was a boost as well, she said.

Luna said she and her family members in the restaurant business have leaned on each other for advice during the pandemic. At the Lewisville location, the loyal customer base has proven to be a big help, she said.

“We don’t have a lot of people who just come in and don’t come back,” Luna said. “We have people who come in for generations.”