“We’re just trying to keep the legacy going that my dad started,” Lupe Reyes said.
Restaurant founder Jose Ramon Reyes and his brother migrated from Durango, Mexico, and opened the original Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant—a family name—in 1987 off FM 1960 in Spring.
“We worked all our lives in the restaurant business, bussers and dishwashers and then cooks,” Ramon Reyes said. “Then in 1987 we decided to open our own business.”
Ramon opened a second location in 1993 in Atascocita, followed by the Summerwood location in 2004. The Summerwood eatery is now the only one in the Houston area.
Lupe and Javier now manage the day-to-day operations at the restaurant, and Ramon has entered semi-retirement. The eatery serves a mix of Tex-Mex fare as well as authentic Mexican food.
However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has put stress on the family-owned business. The Reyes family made the difficult decision to offer takeout only—despite restaurants being allowed to have 50% dine-in capacity as of press time.
Lupe said he believes the restaurant will stay in the community because of its consistent food and loyal customers. All the food is prepared by Rafael Perez, the same cook hired to work in Atascocita back in 1993.
“I’ve gotten customers that still come in from when I was a child,” he said. “We’re still here; we haven’t gone anywhere.”
Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant
13083 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Houston
Hours: Tue.-Fri. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-2 p.m., closed Mon.