With more than 30 years of experience running franchises, Joel Cecchetti, owner of Tito’s Cantina in Cypress, is no stranger to the restaurant industry.

He said many assume his wife, who is Cuban, inspired him to pursue the Tex-Mex food industry. But Tito’s head chef Jorge Nava, a native of Mexico, created many of the Mexican-inspired dishes diners will find on the menu. Nava said his mother taught him to cook many of the dishes now served at Tito’s.

Tito’s opened off Hwy. 290 in 2017, serving authentic Mexican dishes and gradually incorporating more Tex-Mex items on its menu. The restaurant is known for its fajitas, Cecchetti said, as well as its many margarita options.

Cecchetti said not only does Tito’s serve the Cypress community, but those all over Houston, too.

“We get a lot of people that drive from inside the Loop that come out here because they like what we have,” Cecchetti said.

Now, Cecchetti said he wants to expand the restaurant, which includes adding a panaderia, or bakery. While construction is not yet finished, he said Tito’s is selling out of items that customers are able to order in the restaurant. The panaderia is accessible from inside or outside the restaurant and has cakes, conchas and other pan dulce available for purchase.

Additionally, officials said plans for a new Tito’s location will emerge in the near future. Cecchetti said he is looking in the Cypress, Katy and Spring communities for opportunities to expand.

With a number of restaurants struggling to hire staff, Cecchetti said this is not stopping him from opening a new location. He said with COVID-19 unemployment benefits disappearing, he expects to see a number of people ready to return to work.

Every third Thursday of the month, Tito’s hosts band Quimbara at 8 p.m. as well as karaoke night every other Thursday. Tuesdays bring a $1.25 street taco special from 5-8 p.m., and happy hour is weekdays from 3-6 p.m.

Cecchetti said Tito’s is known for having recurring customers that become familiar faces to the staff.

“Everybody that comes in here is a regular,” he said. “It’s a neighborhood restaurant.”

Tito’s Cantina, 25250 Hwy. 290, Ste. 190, Cypress. 832-653-6777. www.titoscantina.com

Hours: Sun. 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Mon.-Wed. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Thu.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.