The Guava Tree Cuban Cafe & Cantina transforms from food truck model to McKinney restaurant

Onel Perez opened The Guava Tree Cuban Cafe & Cantina on Oct. 17, 2020, with his wife Pam (not pictured). Their daughter, Mariah Dobson, is the bar manager. (Karen Chaney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Onel Perez opened The Guava Tree Cuban Cafe & Cantina on Oct. 17, 2020, with his wife Pam (not pictured). Their daughter, Mariah Dobson, is the bar manager. (Karen Chaney/Community Impact Newspaper)

Onel Perez opened The Guava Tree Cuban Cafe & Cantina on Oct. 17, 2020, with his wife Pam (not pictured). Their daughter, Mariah Dobson, is the bar manager. (Karen Chaney/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
The Guava Tree's expansive patio is family and dog-friendly. It shares the patio space with neighboring cafe, Filtered, and often have live music on Saturday nights. (Karen Chaney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
One of Guava Tree’s top two menu items is the El Cubano served with fresh plantain chips. ($13.00) (Karen Chaney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Another of the top menu items is the Loaded Yuca Fries ($11). Onel described yucas as having a unique flavor and that they are a little starchier than a potato. (Karen Chaney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
The Guava Tree sells 8-oz. bottles of their homemade salsa for $8. (Karen Chaney/Community Impact Newspaper)
McKinney residents Onel and Pam Perez owned and operated a food truck business for eight years. Eventually, they were ready to open a restaurant. For years, the couple had their eye on what they deemed the perfect location for their restaurant on South Chestnut Street. When they finally saw a “For lease” sign on the building they immediately called for more information.

“When we found this spot, it was perfect. It’s a small brick and mortar but still kind of funky and ... we could transform it into something unique,” Onel said.

On Oct. 17, 2020, the couple opened The Guava Tree Cuban Cafe & Cantina, which is also the name of their food truck business.

Onel originally thought about opening a grilled cheese food truck, but then he chose to tap into his roots.

“One day, I thought, ‘Cuban food.’ I’m Cuban. Why would I do anything different than that?” he said.


Onel explained they chose the business name because guava is incorporated in many Cuban recipes.

In addition to guava being in most of Guava Tree’s sauces, staff also serve guava glazed bacon and a guava and cream cheese puffed pastry which are all made by Onel in house.

The Perez's daughter, Mariah Dobson, said they have a diverse customer base including McKinney residents, people who work in McKinney, customers who followed them when they were a food truck and Cubans looking for authentic Cuban food. Onel said an elderly Cuban gentleman came in when they first opened with a group of local Cubans. He expressed gratitude that the Perez’s opened a Cuban restaurant.

“He said, ‘I told my wife, the first time we came in, this place is going to be hopping and you’ve done it! Keep doing what you are doing, you’re doing a great thing,’” Onel said.

The Guava Tree Cuban Cafe & Cantina

104 S. Chestnut St., McKinney

214-548-5998

www.theguavatreetruck.com

Hours: Mon., Thu.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Wed. 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; closed Sunday and Tuesday


MOST RECENT

Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opened in Northwest Austin on Nov. 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opens first Central Texas location in Northwest Austin; House of Pies opens in Cypress and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 8.

Life.Church is set to open its fourth church in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. (Courtesy Life.Church McKinney)
Life.Church to launch McKinney location in time for Christmas Eve

Services at Life.Church begin with high-energy worship and feature Biblical teachings from senior pastor Craig Groeschel.

McKinney residents are now able to keep potbellied pigs as pets. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
City Council modifies ordinance to allow potbellied pigs in McKinney

The city of McKinney decided to modify an ordinance that will allow some residents to keep potbellied pigs as pets.

screenshot of McKinney home page
City of McKinney launches new website design

The changes have made site navigation easier for mobile and desktop users, city staff said.

This rendering shows the plan for the new Tupps Brewery location and expansion with 42,000 square feet. (Rendering courtesy Conduit Architecture & Design)
McKinney City Council, Community Development Corp. increase investment in Tupps Brewery project

Plans for the new brewery location at the historic McKinney grain site at the corner of Greenville Road and Dungan Street have grown, Tupps President Keith Lewis said.

The upcoming facility will expand Cirrus’ capacity of those services with space for aircraft storage, service hangars and a two-story office. (Rendering courtesy Cirrus Aircraft)
Cirrus Aircraft to take off with $9M expansion for new permanent facility in McKinney

The Cirrus McKinney Factory Direct Service Center is expected to break ground in the first quarter of 2022 and be completed by the first quarter of 2023.

The Gringo's location in Katy is pictured. A new Conroe location is planned for late 2022. (Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Gringo's restaurant confirmed for Conroe Waterfront Center; Austin’s longest-standing H-E-B to be rebuilt and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 7.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland and US Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta announced the lawsuit against Texas on Dec. 6. (Screenshot courtesy of Department of Justice)
U.S. Dept. of Justice lawsuit alleges Texas' redistricting maps discriminate against voters of color

The suit alleges that the Texas Legislature redrew the maps to reduce voters of colors' influence on elections.

Collin County Commissioners discussed a request Dec. 6 for LifePath Systems to purchase land for a new facility. (Screenshot by Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
LifePath Systems looks to expand mental health services with new McKinney facility

The property in question would be visible to law enforcement and others driving toward the jail and allow LifePath Systems to design professional office space. The intent would be to relocate all of LifePath’s crisis services to this facility.

high school lobby under construction
Attendance zones set up Frisco ISD’s newest schools

Panther Creek High School is in the midst of hiring for the campus that will open in fall 2022.

The 6.5-mile project will be an important connection for the pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks, according to city officials. (Courtesy Austin Public Works)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: City of Austin begins design of urban trail on abandoned rail corridor; 12 things to do in and around New Braunfels this holiday season and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 6.

Ashlee's Garden event venue held its grand opening in November. (Courtesy Ashlee's Garden)
Ashlee’s Garden event space opens at the historic McKinney flour mill

Ashlee’s Garden is able to host outdoor cocktail parties, wedding ceremonies, receptions, graduations, galas, parties, community fundraisers and live music from the permanent stage.