He later opened Stadia Sports Grill in 2015 at the same location as well as in The Woodlands, Katy and Sugar Land. The restaurant served a mix of Mexican food and comfort food, but many locations did not renew their leases and closed.
Finally, in October 2021, Aguilera turned the Pearland spot into Hometown Sports Bar & Grill, which focuses on comfort foods such as wings and pasta.
The restaurant works with the community, Aguilera said. It caters high school sport games, works with clubs and sponsors meals.
“[We’re] like home,” he said. “It’s comfortable. We’re a big community partner.”Hometown Sports Bar & Grill also works with the Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau to make incoming tournament teams feel welcomed by offering free or discounted meals if they come to the restaurant during their tournaments.
This is also Hometown’s second year to feature live music. From February through March, the restaurant held a rodeo-themed event during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo with live music.
“I’ve always considered myself a great host of a party,” Aguilera said. “The more thank you’s I get, the more fun [the job is].”
During the summer, Hometown is doing a line of specialty hot dogs, such as a chili dog and a Cuban dog.To make its burgers, Hometown Sports Bar & Grill gets ground beef twice a week and uses a local bakery for its buns before hand pressing the patties.
“One of the most frequent compliments we get is, ‘I didn’t know your food was so good,’” Aguilera said. “Everybody always thinks of a sports bar [as] just having burgers and wings.”
Although it makes burgers and wings, the restaurant also makes pasta, salad and flatbreads. During the fall and winter, it has served pork chops and chicken fried steak, Aguilera said.
“If everybody in your family likes something different, this is probably the place to go,” Aguilera said.
During the pandemic, the restaurant took advantage of various loans, but it had the opportunity to step back and focus on the community, Aguilera said. It did family meals to-go and offered free chicken soup for those who needed it.
“What I’ve learned is the more you give to the Pearland community, the more you get,” Aguilera said. “If we’re able to take care of the community around us, they usually take care of us whenever we need it.”
Aguilera said he would like to open another restaurant in 2022 before thinking about more long-term goals.
“We’re all Texas, but Pearland is our hometown,” Aguilera said. “Things like that sets us apart from any other local competition.”